Director: Peter Flinth http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0282425/
Jan Guillou (story) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0347188/
Hans Gunnarsson (screenplay) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1076710/
Joakim Nätterqvist http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0639010/
Sofia Helin http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0375138/
Stellan Skarsgård http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001745/
Rotten Tomatoes: 61% Audience http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/arn-tempelriddaren-arn-the-knight-templar/
IMDb: 6.4/10 Stars http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0837106/
Netflix: 4 Stars
Arn: The Knight Templar is a better movie than the Orlando Bloom Epic Kingdom of Heaven. Which does not say much as Kingdom of Heaven was generally panned as a awful movie. Where Kingdom of Heaven failed Arn: The Knight Templar succeeds in spades. As it is based on the trilogy of novels written by Jan Guillou a popular Swedish Author.
Arn is also based on the true story of Arn Magnusson who helped bring peace to a fractured country that eventually became Sweden. So this has a huge amount of positives going for it. With all of these it does not disappoint as it follows in the ways of similar epics like The Lord of Ring's or even John Woo's Red Cliff. With you falling in love with the characters and feeling what they feel.
They make you want to believe what it is on screen. They also have heart, emotion and give powerful performances not seen outside of major Hollywood movies usually. Thankfully that is changing with more movies getting the Hollywood treatment it is starting to make foreign films. Not only stand on par with the major studio releases. But in the eyes of this reviewer exceed them in story telling, book adaptation and heartfelt drama and action.
While Hollywood focuses on special effects and constant sequels. It has opened the door for the real movie makers to find homes outside of the Hollywood norm. Then make magical movies like this one. That only drive home how bad life was during the Crusades. But how awful the church was to humanity. They where evil people who followed not the word of Christ. But ruled with what they believed was the right way to rule.
Which was through tyranny, greed, and fear and this movie not only covers it. It covered it very well and it is shocking that Christianity even has lasted as long has it has. When you see how bad it was for humanity back then. No I am not knocking religion nor am I slamming believers. It is just that this movie makes you question your beliefs if you have any to begin with.
When you see how bad the Christians treat their fellow Christians in the name of the Lord. At the same time they do showcase the Muslims in a brighter light. Which is a good change of pace where Muslims are always the modern villains in today's society. Which is not the case. But sadly most are to stupid to see it that way.
But they don't and thankfully the writers kept to the story and didn't villainize the great Saladin. As he not only showed grace and honor. He showed true human compassion for Arn the man who not only saved his life. But a great warrior and wise man. It is this give and change perspective that is wonderful. As you see how the Holy Land is fought over and how both sides claim rights to Jerusalem.
But sadly unwilling to concede and share the holy land. As they both think only one side should have it. Which to this is still going on. Talk about Montague's vs Capulets stealing a line from Romeo and Juliet. The writers touch on this touchy subject and leave it as hopefully one day we can find peace. Which to this day we still have not. As generations of children are raised to hate another religion. All because it was what their ancestors did.
It is not right but it has happened. Now this movie strokes emotions like a good wind flames the fires. Which is a good thing. As it also provokes thought and ultimately contemplation of life and how we live it. Especially as we see Arn who fought for his freedom and his wife Cecilia fight for hers. Both of whom suffered at the hands of the Church. Yet still showed allegiance to it despite all that it had done to them.
It is this kind of faith that I do not have. At the same time it does provoke thought to me. As I see this everyday in my family and those who live for religion and their chosen God(s). I am happy for them as I am happy I saw this movie. Will it change my views on life no. But what it does do is change my views on cinema. As I search out more movies that are as spectacular and amazing as Arn: The Knight Templar.
My Rating 4.5/5 Stars
Follow me @aikira21 on Twitter