I'm amazed by all the bad reviews for this film. But I think I understand why. Everyone is saying the acting is really bad and there's no energy. Let me inform you, this was NOT filmed in English. I've watched the German version, the original version and it was just fine. When I listened to the English DUBBING, it was a bit lacking. But that's not the fault of the film or the actors, but whomever chose the voice-over actors. The same goes for the script wording. Whenever you watch a translated film, something gets a little lost.
Enough of an explanation. Now for the film's premise. Two peasants follow their deposed Frankish lord, to the Crusades. One is the bastard son of a Saracean, one a Norman and then the lord himself. They all have their own reasons for going on the Crusade and they all develop and change as they go through the battles. The lord and Norman are a little too idealistic at first, but soon learn the truths about war. The Saracean goes in search of his history and learns a few lessons as well.
There might be political themes relating to topics today, such as help the poor Jews and Armenians are evil, but the history portrayed isn't that far off. People were tricked by unscrupulous "allies" during the Crusades. The Crusaders also did attack indiscrimanently. Look at the sack of Byzantium. They were Christian allies, but the Crusaders wanted the gold so they attacked. That's history, not a farce. I also like how they showed the peaceful living conditions in Jersuleum before the Crusaders arrived. Remember, the Crusades were basically create to keep the Europeans from fighting amongst themselves. The Muslims were just an excuse. The peace in the Holy Land was also true. Early Muslim groups were not fanatical as people like to believe. Just as Christians before the growth of the Church's power, were not fanatics. This film portrays the human side of things. Not that a particular religion is right or wrong.
Again, give this film a try. It's annoying that the American actors who dubbed the voices couldn't put any energy into their acting, but that's not surprising. Americans tend not to be friendly towards foreign films and don't have high expectations of them, so why put in the effort? Even better, get the German version and read the subtitles. It's not hard and you'll get better acting.