Orlando Bloom (Girly elf boy) is a blacksmith in france. His wife had a kid croak in labor. In grief and/or PPD, she offs herself. Liam Neison (I sign onto movies just to get killed), a minor nobleman who has been granted lands and title in jeruselum stops by to find his bastard son he's never known. He offers to take Bloom away with him to the holy land and after some altercations, he accepts. They wander off to the 'kingdom of heaven' but Liam has taken a wound that's gone bad and croaks soon after. Before he dies, he knights bloom and grants him his hereditary title/lands. The king of jeruselum is a man of peace...he also happens to be a leper. He and the muslim leader saladim (if I'm spelling this wrong I don't give a fuck) want to create a world of peace and understanding. After all, we know that that's what that time period between christians and muslims was all about. Unfortunately, there are mean dastardly people who want to start wars. The templars are going around slaughtering innocent caravans and basically trying to goad the peaceful muslims into conflict. After one provocation, the leper king and saladim meet and it's decided that all is still good. The templers then go and slaughter some more people including saladim's sister. The leper king croaks at this point and the evil warmongering templar knight is made king. Saladim is obviously upset at this action and sends a emissary to say that he wants his sister's body back and whoever responsible to be punished. A most measured and reasonable request. The king of course slaughters him with what fucking looks like a letter opener in the middle of the court.
Cue the war. Templars ride out under their idiot king and get slaughtered. Bloom is left to defend the city against the muslim attack. He rallies the common people, fights off wave after wave, and then in the end meets with saladim and negotiates a surrender of the city where in exchange, all the men, women and children get escorted back to christian lands. More or less the end. I'm leaving out all sorts of bullshit about a love story and a plethora of other annoying crap about how only fairy elf boy realizes that one can dig wells to find water but apparently no one else had ever considered that.
What pisses me off so much about this movie is it is racist and bigoted to the core. I've seen a more fair and balanced presentation of the facts in nazi progroganda films. Every single person in the movie who avows that they are a christian is evil, conniving, selfish, and basically a horror of a human being. When the muslims approach the city for instance, the bishop says that the knights should abandon the city (with him of course) on fast horses and head for the coast. When asked what about the women and children and infanty, he responds that they should die, because, well, it's god's will after all. During the later scene as Bloom is about to go out to negotiate, the same bishop says that they should accept any terms and convert to islam. After all, they can always repent later. I cannot express how fucking disgusted I am with this film and its portrayal.
First of all, Bloom, Neison, and the Leper King (despite being crusaders) all lack faith. Instead, they ramble on about how it's only important to do what you know is right and that faith and the church have no value. I cannot believe that Scott could have written this tripe and not choked on it. It's like arguing that columbus sailed across the ocean not because he was looking for a route to india but because he was bored and wanted to go on a sailing pleasure jaunt. It's so divergent from reality as to not be believed. No man who believes in God is anything less than a scoundrel. The more loose your conviction, the better person you are.
Second, well, it seems Scott's bashing of faith only holds true for whitey christians. The muslims are painted as wonderful people without exception. The closest we get to a negative muslim character is one aide to saladim who urges an attack before saladim feels he has his logistics in place to support one and dares to utter his belief that God will bring them victory. We repeatedly see the muslim army demonstrating their faith and yet they remain noble and temperate characters. Saladim however is cut to be another who pays lipservice at best to his religion, something else which is historically unthinkable.
I can't help but think that if these depictions were reversed we would have protests by people of every stripe, chances are led by the big liberal hippie machine. This film was garbage of the highest order and I fear that it's only one symptom of greater idiocy. People often scoff when they hear others claim that there's a green light to attack christians but as far as I can see, it's true. See this movie and change the portrayals of the two groups in your mind. Whether you wish to put muslims or jews or buddhists or even hindus in as a substitute for the christian crusaders ask yourself this, would the way the film portrays the adherents of that religion bother you and make you think it was clear bigotry or racism.
None of this was to say that the crusaders were nice people. Many did have ulterior motives in going off to jeruselum that included conquest and lands but many others (ecspecially the non-combatants) went there wanting nothing more than the visit and worship at the site where their savior died. None of these people were given voice in this movie. Instead we see clear linkage between levels of religious faith and levels of evil...only for christians of course. That could never occur for Muslims.