It's a possibility that I'm jaded, or even too much of a pragmatist to see the virtue in rooting for the grand heroic gesture of Balian, but really, I just get highly annoyed by such things. Also, this isn't a very good movie for all that it's pleasing to the eye, but really I can't get over his whole thing where he's like "Oh, I can't be behind you killing my enemy and a guy who I know to be the cause of a great deal of death and suffering because I want to live in a kingdom of conscience." What bothers me about that is two-fold: 1) Okay, we're talking about a guy who kills his priest because he's wearing the necklace of his dead wife, and also because he had her decapitated like they *did* with suicides, and 2) if they were living in a kingdom of conscience where there was a plane of equality then Guy de Lusignan would already have been executed for his crimes! I'm not making a pro-death penalty argument here, I'm just saying that by virtue of the times, what was being proposed wasn't really like, a problem or anything. What was being proposed was the correct legal recourse. There was basically no reason whatsoever for him to get persnickety about his moral standing in terms of all that, when he was already a murderer (several times over), a fugitive from justice and a fornicator. I mean, he was pretty fine with doing the whole adultery thing, and that's basically against the laws of god and man in this time, so what the hell, man? I just get so aggravated by this whole "It's the importance of the gesture" thing when there's a much, much greater good to be considered. Political expediency isn't, by neccesity, a bad thing when the expedience leads to safety and stability in a kingdom through the punishment of wrongdoers! The moral right is on the side of the king, and really, the king is my little leprous sweetie pie in this movie. If ever there was a holy voice in this film, it'd be his, and so again, Balian is being stupid in many ways. Also because - as was rightly pointed out by the scruffy Jeremy Irons/Tiberius dude - he had promised to serve the king, however it may be best accomplished.
I mean, I understand if the principle was something bigger, the symbolic act making a huge dint in the principles for which he is really fighting.
Other things of a somewhat less thoughtful note: 1) Jeremy Irons remains weirdly hot to me. 2) For the first time I can kind of see the whole Orlando Bloom thing. 3) I really do love Kevin McKidd. I always have, and I always will.