First Night Flicks: Robin Hood

Robin Hood (2010)

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Mark Strong
Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sequences of warfare, and some sexual content.

I love the Robin Hood legend. There’s just something about a nobleman standing up for the oppressed common man that warms the cockles of my heart. Plus, it has a great love story and wonderful villains, whether it be Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham or Sir Guy of Gisborne. The main problem with Ridely Scott’s Robin Hood is that is lacks many of the elements that help the legend endure centuries later.

Billed as “The Untold Story of How the Man Became the Legend,” the film only hints as pieces of the Robin Hood legend. The players, as we know them, are mostly there. Little John (Kevin Durand), Friar Tuk (Mark Addy) and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Matthew Mcfadyen) all make appearances, but they are relegated to background players at most (especially the poor Sheriff who only makes a few brief appearances and does nothing of import to the story).

While I rightfully acknowledge that a presumed historical prequel to the legend of Robin Hood should not have to follow the legend faithfully, the little bit of this film that did correlate to the legend felt like in jokes for the fans of the legend. Something like that works in the time-warped reality of the new Star Trek film, but it was not enough to sustain the interest of this film goer who kept waiting for the film to approach something even remotely familiar to the legend. Names and situations have been changed, to be sure, and some of the information had some, however slight, basis in historical fact; all this was expected before I even walked into the theater. The trouble is that I was not able to draw any line (or circle, or polygon) between the story on the screen and the eventual Robin Hood story.

The love story between Robin (Crowe) and Marion (Blanchett), such as it is, is not well drawn out. They are not on screen enough together to sell the fact they have fallen in love. However, one of the few joys of the film is the wonderful romantic chemistry between these two stars when they are permitted to share the screen. They generate a screen-scorching  heat by simply looking at one another. As much as I love Russell Crowe, I don’t believe I have ever seen him have this much chemistry with  any other leading lady. I would pay good money to see them in a romantic drama where they are the focus of the entire film.  Unfortunately, this was not that film.

By the time the film reached it’s climactic battle scene (as all films of this sort must have a climactic battle scene), I was searching for a way to find out the time without disturbing my fellow film goers (I was unable to as I don’t carry a watch). I feared that the film was far from its conclusion, as it never felt like it had started, and I was bored and tired.

Robin Hood contains random children wearing Strangers masks, and I kind of hoped they’d start terrorizing and/or killing off characters just to make things interesting

One Response

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  1. Written by crasher21
    on 2010-05-15 at 16:34

    I felt the same way watching this movie… it seemed to me like a piss poor reboot, then an actual attempt to add to the legend of the saga…. and the movie was WAY too goddamned long!!

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