Robin Hood Reviews
I think that the character of Robin Hood is just a vehicle for a message more fundamental, lost in our expectations. We were expecting something similar to what we know and love. The story is not about Robin Hood, rather Magna Carta Libertatum - The Great Charter of Liberties. The message of the story is that we must fight to preserve those liberties.
Historically, Ridley Scott has got a few things right. He eluded to the Barons War of 1215 in which Magna Carta was signed. King John's reneging on Magna Carta is historically accurate. King Richard's feather by an arrow to the neck whilst laying siege is correct.
From a fight perspective, it was nice to see soldiers in formation, rather than just paring off into duels. Using their shields, rather than just using them as counterweights.
There were a few annoyances, like massive explosion on the castle gates...
Stupid special effects and swords don't go schwiiing when you pull them out of the scabbard.... sigh...
Really enjoyed the film.
Firstly, it is a bummer that this movie is about how a nobody archer became a legend - since it is still a legend where there is no historical evidence whether such a character ever existed, the point that the writers concocted a story like this already feels artificial. The essence of Robin Hood is all about adventure, daredevilry and chivalry - where you see none of it. Just a morose soldier who puts himself in extraordinary circumstances and does stuff that you expect any hero character would do.
Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe), Little John (Kevin Durand) and a few other soldiers deserts the English army after the death of King Richard the Lionheart (Danny Huston) during his French conquests in the Third Crusade. They chance upon an ambushed English convoy of Knights that are taking the King's crown back. Robin and his gang impersonate the Knights for a ticket back home that is simmering with civil unrest due to heavy war taxes, looming drought and tyranny. Prince John (Oscar Isaac), next in line for English throne is betrayed by his trusted mercenary Godfrey (Mark Strong) who is a French double agent helping the enemy take advantage of this civil unrest. Robin's impersonation leads him to a small unknown town of Nottingham where he is obliged to carry forward his act as the Oxley heir and husband of Marion (Cate Blanchett) which becomes the center of unrest.
There is not one special moment in this lengthy monotonous war epic that you have not seen before from an abundant collection of movies featuring this era. The first 30 minutes features a highly disconnected screenplay with questionable acting for a Ridley Scott's movie and the battle sequences though ambitiously produced were generic with not one scene producing a moment of awe. Though Cate Blanchett has more than required screen time, she hardly makes a case for it. The overall runtime does not help as well. The most entertaining and innovative stuff is reserved for ending credits with brilliant animation and exciting music.
A rare but a complete misfire by Ridley Scott.