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
The name of the Loxley's plow horse is Goliath. See more »
In the establishing shot of King Richard's campsite in France, a burnt village can clearly be seen on the right side of the frame, yet it isn't mentioned. Later in the movie, we see the same exact village, but this time it's Barnsdale, England, where Robin is from. The village is unharmed, but soon it's burned by Godfrey and his men, revealing to us that it's the same set from the one in France. See more »
[after spotting a tall woman at a party]
She's about my size. I'm going to make her smile.
[then yelling to the girl]
I'm going to make you smile!
See more »
The first part of the end credits are in the same style as Ridley Scott's production company 'Scott Free Productions'. See more »
The director's cut contains additional 15 minutes of scenes, more graphic violence and the following changes: (* denotes as new scene)
*Before the Battle of Charus, A valet wakes up King Richard. He starts from his sleep and seems apathetic before dousing his head in a bowl of water.
*The Battle of Charus has an additional sequence: a flaming arrow is fired, sets the oily ground ablaze. This caught an English soldier, screaming and squirming before another arrow hits him and he collapses dead onto the ground
The shot of the gate exploding is replaced with a ground-up alternate shot. It's a top-to-ground in the theatrical cut.
*The ramming of the castle gates and the background battle is longer. A French soldier falls down from the walls on to the English soldiers as well.
*When Richard is hit, there is a stertorous shot of him and the questioning look of Sir Robert is added.
As King Richard is drinking his last slug of wine, the wine mixed with blood now flows out from the wounds; it's not visible in the theatrical cut.
The scene of Marion meeting the clergymen now appears earlier, right after the Charus battle.
*Godfrey threatens Robert to torture him while a lance is stuck on his chest.
The scene where the Sheriff starts scuffling with Marion is now moved up earlier, after Robin buries Robert in the forest.
*When the ship reaches the Thames river, there is an additional shot of men rowing the boat. The captain informs Robin that they're setting course to the Tower of London. A delegate then informs Robin of how to address the proper behavior in front of Eleanor (King Richard's mother).
*As Robin and his men leaves the Tower of London, Godfrey's men follow them.
*While Marion collects herbs from the woods, a group of children wearing straw masks appear and claim her belongings. She recognizes them by their voices and tries to reason them.
Robin and his men riding through the forest now appears earlier.
*Little John offers to help Robin to return the sword to Sir Walter but Robin declines - he doesn't want them to put themselves in jeopardy.
*When Robin and his men are asleep, they are raided by the runaways. Suddenly a group of horsemen appears from the darkness and Robin awakes, just in time to notice the attack. The others awake as well and they manage to repulse the horsemen attack. One of them is killed by a trap.
*Godfrey's henchmen track Robin and sound the population. A peasant points the direction of Robin and his men heading.
*At the English soldier's camp, Godfrey sneaking through is longer. After greeting the French soldiers, they sneak back into the camp and kill the soldiers in sleep. Next, Godfrey rides to meet one of his men who told him that Robin killed his soldiers. He then ordered the French soldiers to ride to Barnsdale.
The scene of Robin and Marion talking about Robert is moved up earlier as well.
*While hunting, Robin is caught by the runaways and taken prisoner to their camp. To his surprise, Marion knows of the hide-out and is part of the group. He promises to teach them how to fight since they have a common enemy.
*At the forest glade, Robin and Marion encounters a group of peasants trying to rescue a goat from the bog. She tries to rescue it but falls into the bog. Robin, secured by the rope, jumps in but rescues the goat first before her. After Marion is on the ground well, the Sheriff appears, claiming tax on her. Robin pays him one gold. Because of that, the sequence of Robin and Marion looking amorously in the theatrical cut is removed.
*The night party at Loxley is longer with Little John bringing in a barrel of mead.
*William Marshal and his men arrive at the village. He has a talk with Walter on the current political situation when Robin and Marion approach.
In the flashback, the close-up of Sir Walter is replaced with a two-shot of William and Walter.
*Before the battle at the English coast, there is an additional line by William Marshal to Robin: "Your father is a great man, and you're your father's son."
*There's an additional shot of Godfrey killing Sir Walter with a close-up of the penetrating sword.
*A French soldier tries to rape a villager during the raid.
*Robin collars a French soldier and tries to force him to reveal the position where the French army plans to come ashore. In order to do that, he chains him to a wall, aims at him with bow an arrow - and hits. He continues to interrogate until the soldier caves in. A shot of the Sheriff in this scene has been removed.
*The fight at the English coast is longer, including an additional shot of King John rams his sword into the prostrated enemy's chest.
Ridley Scott aimed to bring Robin Hood down to earth and in that straightforward respect he was successful. The problem is that he arguably brought Robin Hood CRASHING down to earth, jammed like a square peg in a round hole into a generic semi-epic of medieval warfare and political intrigue. Change the names of Robin, Little John, Marian, and the village of Nottingham and I'd pretty much have no idea that this screenplay was ever written with the intention of being a Robin Hood movie — even the villain, a French spy and marauder named Godfrey, is a brand new creation, with the Sheriff reduced to a piddling, zero-impact supporting character. It ends up feeling like a little bit of Robin Hood mythos accidentally leaked onto a print of Braveheart or Gladiator so they said to hell with it and decided to release it in theaters, albeit with the bloodshed dialed back to PG-13 levels.
That's not to imply that the movie is boring or devoid of action; there's plenty of battles, hundreds dead, and even a spot of comic relief in Little John and Friar Tuck. But when I think of Robin Hood the giant neon sign in my mind flashes the word ADVENTURE, and I would in no way, shape, or form ever describe Scott's Robin Hood as an adventure movie. A medieval war movie perhaps, but not an adventure movie. There's a little bit of travel, sure, but Robin spends at least half if not more of the runtime just chilling in Nottingham, flirting with Marian and tilling the soil. And, sorry to be unimaginative, but I wanna see Robin Hood getting chased, sneaking under the enemy's nose in disguise, picking up new companions on his journey, swashbuckling, and in general feeling like a rogue, none of which this Robin Hood does. It's a bizarrely dry interpretation of one of popular fiction's most infamous scoundrels.
Part of the problem is the badly miscast leads. There's fun to be had in Kevin Durand's Little John, Max von Sydow's Sir Walter Loxley, Sherlock Holmes and Kick-Ass's Mark Strong further cementing his villainous typecasting as Godfrey, and even a bit of scenery-chewing in Oscar Isaac's King John, but however many Academy Awards they may have between them I don't think that Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett were right for Robin and Marian. Fine actors, especially Blanchett, but they have virtually no personalities in this movie and no romantic chemistry whatsoever. Dryness emanates from them; I was worried they would near a spark and catch flame.
It's also kind of bizarre how the film purports to be the beginning of the legend, yet Robin Hood is played by an actor nearing fifty. Don't get me wrong; I'm not one of those morons who needs all my film leads to be whippersnappers — I'm the world's biggest enthusiast of 58-year-old Liam Neeson's newfound career as a pulpy action star — but both Crowe and Blanchett just look too damn old for these parts. I would have rather seen someone like, I don't know, Stardust's Charlie Cox as Robin Hood. Not as good an actor, no, but better for this role. I never thought I'd say this, but even Orlando Bloom would have been better.
As for what the film gets right, if you've seen Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven (which, by the way, in its director's cut form ties with Alien as the best film Scott's ever done) you know that Ridley Scott has a real talent for making these medieval epics look and feel just right. The sets, the costumes, the castles, the villages, the weaponry, the layer of Middle Ages dirt and grime on everything, it all looks great, especially bolstered by beautiful cinematography. I won't go so far as to say it makes you want to be there, but it's authentic and drawn with painterly skill, simply a nice movie to look at whatever near-fatal weaknesses may be found in the storytelling.
Still, I'd only recommend seeing this Robin Hood if you're really, really into medieval warfare and conflict. If not and you want some adventure then just watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves again. That's right, you big baby, you know you like it.
16 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this