Birth of a legend. Following King Richard's death in France, archer Robin Longstride, along with Will Scarlett, Alan-a-Dale and Little John, returns to England. They encounter the dying Robert of Locksley, whose party was ambushed by treacherous Godfrey, who hopes to facilitate a French invasion of England. Robin promises the dying knight he will return his sword to his father Walter in Nottingham. Here Walter encourages him to impersonate the dead man to prevent his land being confiscated by the crown, and he finds himself with Marian, a ready-made wife. Hoping to stir baronial opposition to weak King John and allow an easy French take-over, Godfrey worms his way into the king's service as Earl Marshal of England and brutally invades towns under the pretext of collecting Royal taxes. Can Robin navigate the politics of barons, royals, traitors, and the French? Written by
don @ minifie-1
"To be hunted all the days of his life, until his corpse unburied, is carrion for foxes and crows."
A few tips for getting the most enjoyment possible out of Robin Hood:
1. Forget that it's an adaptation of Robin Hood, entirely. Just pretend like it's a middling medieval drama/adventure movie starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett (who's spectacularly underused), with some very vague connections to the Robin Hood legend. Everything is changed about, added too, and embellished beyond recognition. There's nothing wrong with trying to put a fresh spin on an old tale (if it works), but you'll be greatly disappointed if you expect any more than loose connections to the well-known versions of the adventures of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
2. Don't expect Gladiator in England. Robin Hood desperately tries to be epic, sweeping, grandiose, and politically involving, but it doesn't come near the heights of the mega-popular, critically beloved Gladiator. It's not a bad movie, and you could enjoy it (if you keep your expectations at a reasonable level), but it's okay at best and deeply flawed at worst. Crowe doesn't put half the heart, passion, or effort into Robin Longstride that he did into Maximus. The characters are one-note and static, and the plot is overly-ambitious and needlessly complex. There is less than zero chemistry between Crowe and Blanchett. Robin's back-story was a contrived mess that added nothing to the movie except empty minutes to the running time.
The main flaw with Robin Hood is that it's so preoccupied with being serious and deep, that it forgets to be fun. There's nothing wrong with trying to take a story like this in a more realistic direction, but there needs to be a rousing adventure at its heart. That's what's missing from this film.
Robin Hood is a shadow of Gladiator. It's a shadow of Kingdom of Heaven, to be honest. But there are moments when the battles are raging and you forget that this is supposed to be Robin Hood, when it's an okay movie. My review seems horribly negative and that's not my intention - my expectations for this were just really high. It felt like Ridley Scott really didn't try all that hard, and the cast and crew followed his example.
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