Hey look, another Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe movie that's not worth your time! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, not only does Robin Hood bore, annoy, and confound me, but it also represents everything wrong with the modern filmmaking industry. For some reason, Hollywood feels the need to make Dark Knight-style "moody and brooding" adaptations of every fucking story ever, even if the result is the complete antithesis of what the original story was supposed to be. They did it with Man of Steal Your Money, they did it with Total Recall, and now they've done it again here. Because God forbid that we make a Robin Hood movie that's any damn fun at all! Sorry, Ridley Scott. It's not all good in the Hood.
Robin Hood stars Russell "Jor-El" Crowe as the titular character. You know Robin Hood, right? The merry man who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, all with a skip in his step and a twinkle in his eye? WRONG! In this adaptation, Robin Hood is a dour and depressed man who fought in the crusades for his king, who then died of Conveniently Placed Hollywood Arrow Syndrome. Returning to the town of Nottingham, he finds that the new king is a whiny little bitch, in the vein of Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator. Hmm, I'm seeing some parallels here. Anyway, through a convenient plot contrivance, Robin Hood ends up married to Cate Blanchett and running the town, robbing the king of shipments of... wheat... or something, and pulling goats out of mud holes for two and a half hours. How very entertaining.
Most of the problems with this movie stem from the actors, who (for lack of a better word) seriously don't even give a shit about what they're doing. Russell Crowe delivers his trademark generically indifferent performance as Robin Hood, and his down-to-earth approach doesn't work very well with the character at all. Max von Sydow is all right as Sir Walter Loxley, but he only has a few minutes of screen time. The rest of the supporting cast is fleshed out by typically strong actors such as Mark Strong (no pun intended) and Oscar Isaac, but neither of them bother giving the silly claptrap they're saying any life. Cate Blanchett is just there. All of these characters are thrown into one massive Game of Thrones-style story where their lives intertwine and people stab each other in the back. Yadda yadda yadda. Holy shit, how many times must I get deja vu while watching a movie like this? These half fantasy/half period piece movies are so irritating these days. They all try to be epic on a Lord of the Rings level, but just end up cramming in a load of incomprehensible political silliness in lieu of an actual plot. If you need any proof, just go to RT's page on this movie and look at the full cast. You could get arthritis from scrolling through all those unnecessary characters.
And then there's the dialogue... ugh, don't get me started. Whenever Crowe tries to give some sort of epic speech or declaration, the lines he's given to work with sound like they're taken straight from every other medieval movie ever made. "The laws of this land enslave people to its king. A king who demands loyalty but offers nothing in return." God, who cares? There are dozens of movies out there with identical plots to this. Ooh, an unjust king. What a fucking shock. Seriously, this encapsulates everything that could possibly go wrong in a movie, right down to the overly dark tone and bleak visuals. It's virtually impossible to recall a single scene from this movie, as every single one looks exactly the same: Trees and mud, more trees, more mud, people dying. Everything is so watered-down and unsatisfying, you have to wonder what kind of a sociopath could like, let alone love, a movie as uninvolving and boring as this. Oh right, Jed Groff exists.
Final Score for Robin Hood: 3/10 stars. I almost nodded off while watching this movie, making it only one of a handful of films to hold that distinction. And I'll watch nearly anything, so that's quite a feat. But really, nothing about this movie is worth your time, from the shoddy direction to the sloppy editing, the bad acting to the horrible dialogue, the obnoxiously self-important cinematography to the overpacked and muddled plot. I am so, so incredibly done with crap faux-epics that think they're God's gift to filmmaking but end up tanking both critically and commercially (and rightly so). These pretentious and laughably dull movies are the ass end of the drama genre, and represent exactly why Hollywood should take a break from "dark" and "brooding" movies for a while so they can take some time to find a new gimmick to overuse. My colleague Jeff Goldblum put it best: Say no to Crowe.