Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Robin Hood

Year: 2010
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Brian Helgeland

Stars: RUSSELL CROWE, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, Mark Strong, Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes, Oscar Isaac, William Hurt, Danny Huston, Matthew Macfadyen

We’ve been robbed and there is not much hope that we’ll get back those two and half hours invested in this film. Alas, and I say it with shock, this was no ‘Prince of Thieves’, as the entire film is a rehashed revival, resembling the forest ambush scene from the film ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (2005), another of director Ridley Scott’s epics.

Perhaps he liked that movie more and this scene so much, that he created an entire movie around it, and reworked the Robin Hood tale to fit? Perhaps I am being too harsh. If you are expecting to hear about the Robin Hood you grew up with then you might as well stop reading now.

This revisiting of the famous Nottinghamshire folk-story is yet another one of those wasted opportunities. The eponymous hero and his gang of so-called ‘Merry Men’ are prancing around the forest, the dark, damp and muddy forests of England and France. However, there isn’t much to smile about in this outdoor life!

There are double-dealings and double-crosses left, right and centre, there’s a Maid Marion (Cate Blanchett) that could do with a change of clothes and a little make-up, and there’s a King or two that need a swift beheading. But alas, yet again, nothing ever turns out as it should.

With some good performances from Mark Strong as Robin’s adversary Godfrey, Oscar Isaac as King John, plus a fantastic soundtrack, with all its attention to details (like the Fleur-de-lis, and the Lorraine Cross), with its brief battle scenes (especially if you like Medieval castles), with its intriguing news that Robin’s ancestors were masons (go figure), with all the lavish cinematography (straight out of LotR)… it still doesn’t hit the mark.

Just unacceptable for a big-budget production of this calibre!

There are some good lines of dialogue, but the narrative, the convoluted lesson of ‘lambs becoming lions’ just don’t register. I came out of this movie wondering why on earth does Godfrey need to find Longstride in the first place. It’s simply meaningless and all too trivial. As for Russell’s accent, that’s the least of its problems!

Final verdict, it will pass the time and I never imagined I’d find myself saying this about a Russell Crowe-Ridley Scott film! If anyone cares enough, the animated credits are worth viewing at the end, but Robin Hood the movie is a huge disappointment.

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