Sunday, May 23, 2010

Robin Hood - Movie Review


Starring Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Max von Sydow, Mark Addy, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston, Kevin Durand, Matthew Macfayden, Scott Grimes and Eileen Atkins.
Directed by Ridley Scott.

Better than I thought it would be, not as good as it could have been, this is miles better than King Arthur, and really, it would have been a decent story if they hadn't called it Robin Hood.

Robin Hood is the stuff of legend, but here Scott and company have come up with a historical theory on how the legend came about. Turns out Robin played a crucial role in laying the groundwork for what would become the Magna Carta of 1215.

Robin Longstride is an archer, a soldier in King Richard's army. When King Richard dies, a knight, Robert of Loxley, is commissioned with the duty of returning the crown to England. He is jumped by Godfrey, friend of Prince John and conspirator with France. Robin and company come along and stop them, and Loxley's dying request is to return his sword to his father.

Robin, Little John, Will Scarlet, and Alan A'Dale put on the knights' clothes and return to England with the crown. Prince John is now King John, and when Robin finds Loxley's estates, the father decides it best if Robin continues to keep up the charade that he is indeed Sir Robert of Loxley.

This 2-1/2 hour epic plays out like we're watching three episodes in a row of the most expensive HBO period series in history. It is an origin story, so we don't have robbing from the rich to give to the poor, we don't have Robin entering an archery contest; the Sheriff is barely there, as the real villain is Godfrey.

My qualms only came with the lack of chemistry between Crowe and Blanchett (as Marion), and then some serious tactical question marks in the final battle scene. And if this is a prequel to the story, shouldn't Robin be about 15 years younger?

It is better than the Kevin Costner version.

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