Robin Hood Reviews
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.
Rating: 1/10 -
Was looking forward to director Ridley Scott's approach to such an already well filmed franchise.
Russell Crowe as Hood puts on what can only be described as an accent between the dulcit tones of Sean Bean and Shadrach Dingle off Emmerdale. However that aside he puts in a respectable performance as Hood and all memories of a mullet headed, LA accent Robin of Loxley (its in Sheffield interestingly) are gone.
The film intertwines elements of historical fact as well as some motion picture fiction. The crusades of Richard The Lionheart that bankcrupted England are explained as well as suttle references to his homosexuality leading to a lack of direct ascendents and the throning of his brother John who is made a villain in the film. Several historical events are intertwined into the screenplay including John's supposed lesser guile in battle and the Magna Carta.
The Sheriff of Nottingham character is briefly featured and is just a cheap version of Alan Rickman that the casting directors could cast.
The ending as is usual nowadays in these big budget productions paves the way for a sequel that will probably delve more into the Sherwood Forest adventures of Hood seen in other films of the genre.
The battle scenes and blood and gore from arrows piercing bodies will make this a welcome addition to the Blu-Ray library no doubt.