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
Filming was delayed due to Ridley Scott's dissatisfaction with the script and a writer's strike. See more »
Robin and the troops arriving from Nottingham meet up with William Marshal and his troops at the White Horse in Uffington. This is northwest of London, approximately 160 miles (by modern driving routes) from Dungeness, where the French troops are landing. It's impossible that they would have arrived in the time depicted. See more »
[Robin has delivered John the crown, disguised as Robert Loxley]
Did you say from Nottingham?
Your father Sir Walter owes taxes to the crown, my crown; tell him its bloody expensive running a country and everyone must pay their way
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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.
Too long in places doesn't hurt an otherwise enjoyable film
If you have seen Kingdom of Heaven Director's Cut then you will undoubtedly enjoy Robin Hood. While it may not be as bloody as Kingdom of Heaven, the action still remains exciting and brutal. People who have not seen that film will be disappointed by the lack of action and scenes that are too long.
While I found the film to be exciting, I couldn't help but realise that this would have been great if it was a 15 (UK age certificate) rather than a 12a. The first action sequence is great as English soldiers attack a French castle but it felt restricted that you would never see any blood when someone is killed; a soldier is shot in the neck by an arrow but other than the arrow, they look completely fine. Early on a character dies but from the way it was edited, you would never have known. A film where the violence is as savage and as brutal as this, requires you to feel as if the characters are in great danger.
A lot has been said about Russell Crowe and his acting in the film but I found little to complain about. He suited his role well. The supporting cast including Mark Strong, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Kevin Durand and Oscar Isaac are fantastic. They are all completely immersed into their roles. I never felt that someone else could have been casted instead.
The cinematography is also really good but if only it was not let down by the editing. As a sword or axe is flung towards an enemies head, it cuts straight after the impact, loosing a sense of realism. The hurts the film much later on in the final action sequence.
The film maintained my interest and the final action sequence was exciting. This is a film worth watching but if you are expecting the next Gladiator, I suggest waiting for the director's cut on DVD/ Blu-ray.
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