By: Bryan Montgomery (www.twitter.com/bcmontgomery)
Rating: 7 out of 10
There have been many attempted by many directors to properly tell the story of Robin Hood, the infamous English outlaw who coined the phrase “Take from the rich and give to the poor”. Ridley Scott takes his normal attempt at epic film making and applies it to Robin’s adventure, which leads to an acceptable adventure flick with little to draw from once the credits roll.
Russell Crowe stars as Robin Longstride, who fights for the British but leaves once Richard the Lionheart is killed. The new King, John, decides to begin a heavy tax on the land, which, coupled with the evil actions of Sir Godfrey (Mark Strong), lead to a war between the English and France. Robin Hood soon comes to the town of Nottingham, and must protect his homeland from the oncoming battle.
Ridley Scott knows how to make an epic film, from the space thriller Alien to Black Hawk Down and Kingdom of Heaven. As a result, Schott has quickly drifted into a formulaic process in his movies, and unfortunately, Robin Hood is the film to suffer. The entire movie simply seems monotonous throughout, with a “been there, done that” feeling throughout, and is unable to distinguish itself from other movies.
The main issue with Robin Hood is that it simply doesn’t get into the history of Robin Hood the way that a majority of the other films have. It instead focuses on the history of how Robin Hood became Robin Hood, which works to a point but overall does not give the same message that would be expected from a movie of this magnitude.
The leads of the movie are essentially the best that Hollywood has to offer, as Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett both bring their A-Game to the movie, and it shows. The acting is not the problem in the movie; the problem lies in the inability for the film to stay interesting. The supporting cast is also good, as all of Robin Hood’s merry men along with King Richard and King John all portray their characters with a high degree of faithfulness.
The most interesting aspect of Robin Hood is the very impressive set pieces and action. The movie starts with nearly 20 minutes of action, and ends with near 30 minutes of action. Those parts of the film are truly impressive, especially the final battle scene, which initially didn’t seem like it was going to be like much but quickly creates a very exciting battle scene.
Does Robin Hood work? Yes. Does it work as well as the fans are going to want it to? No. Ridley Scott know s how to make an epic-scale film work, but he simply falls flat with this big-story adaptation, and although all the pieces are there for a great film, with a great cast and fantastic set pieces, the story is not there for the taking. Robin Hood is worth a rent, but don’t go in expecting the next Gladiator…although Maximus is in this film, he fights with a bow rather than the insane amount of weaponry he uses in the Oscar-winning film. Robin Hood is good, but it could have been so much more.
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