May 14, 2010
Review - " Robin Hood " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, William
Hurt, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes, Alan
I went into the latest Russell Crowe-Ridley Scott film, Robin Hood,
knowing relatively little about what kind of movie it was going to be,
considering it is, after all, a “blockbuster”.
What I can say is that while Robin Hood is pretty good, it’s certainly
I had heard that this new depiction of the iconic hero was panned for
“pretending” to be historically accurate when it wasn’t, and the film
had eschewed all the merriness that made Robin and his men were
famous for. Accordingly, compared to previous renditions of Robin
Hood, this one was dull and lacking in fun.
I don’t agree with that. Frankly, I couldn't care less how historically
accurate this new Robin Hood is, as long as it is compelling and
entertaining to watch. And why must all Robin Hood films be
confined to merry men in tights who sing and dance all day?
Ridley Scott decided to deliver a more serious, gritty and “realistic”
vision of the folktale hero, and I don’t have a problem with that. He
can do whatever he wants as long as the result is a good movie.
However, that’s not to say Scott and Crowe hit the bulls-eye with
Robin Hood. Don’t get me wrong, the film does have its positives,
namely, the performances and the action.
Russell Crowe brings his Maximus charm and brooding presence to Robin Longstride (aka Hood), making him a sound hero;
Cate Blanchett was fantastic was Lady Marion, as was Max Von Sydow as her father-in-law, Walter Loxley; Mark Strong
shows once again that he can be a superb villain, and Oscar Isaac does a fine job as the surprising King John.
The action sequences are also done very well, with the best moments coming during the initial siege scene and the final
climatic battle. It’s not quite Lord of the Rings, but Scott manages to capture that epic scale battle feeling (for the most part)
by thrusting you into the middle of the action.
Having said that, it still felt like something was missing. The film is I suppose a prequel to the Robin Hood legend, in the
same way that Batman Begins was for Bruce Wayne. But with this Robin Hood, it didn’t feel like there was any character
transformation — at the start he was a good archer and an honest man who believed in justice. By the end,
he was essentially still the same guy, just with different surrounding circumstances.
Furthermore, while the film didn’t feel particularly long at 140 minutes, I felt as though not a whole lot happened during the
running time. I suppose that means I wanted more.