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Can A Movie Be Underwhelming But Not Bad? “Robin Hood” Pulls It Off

Let’s get the very best thing about Ridley Scott’s take on “Robin Hood” out of the way: the absence of Canadian douche rocker Bryan Adams. That alone makes this film better than the blockbuster Kevin Costner Robin Hood flick. Thankfully, there are several other factors that make this a much better movie. Obviously, Russell Crowe is a much better Robin Hood, even with this very different take on the legend.

In this version, Robin Hood is actually Robin Longstride, an archer in King Richard’s army, fighting in the Crusades. When King Richard (Danny Huston) is killed, Sir Robert of Loxley proceeds to deliver the crown to the next king, Prince John (Oscar Isaac). Along the way, Loxley is killed and Robin and his group of Merry Men take up the guise of Knights and deliver the crown to the new King. Robin pretends to be Robert of Loxley and travels to his home in Nottingham.

There, you would think he battles the Sheriff of Nottingham, his normal adversary. Nope. Instead, Robin continues to pretend to be Robert of Loxley so that Maid Marion (Cate Blanchett), Loxley’s widow, will not lose her land to the King. He then becomes embroiled in a battle between the ego of King John, the plot of Godfrey (Mark Strong) to help the French invade England, and the love-hate-love relationship with Marion. Needless to say, he’s a very busy archer.

While I really liked the movie and I felt like it moved along quite well, it just all seemed so familiar. Ridley Scott has done epic with “Gladiator” and he’s done dirty, gritty Crusade warring in “Kingdom Of Heaven”. There’s really nothing wrong with “Robin Hood”, there’s just nothing exceptional. Believe me, as a lover of Ridley Scott, this is tough for me to admit.

There are some good acting performances from Crowe (naturally), Blanchett (duh), and an adorable performance from Max Von Sydow as the father of the real Robert of Loxley. It’s one of those smaller parts that seems like it would be tailor made for Oscar consideration for an older actor, but the movie just doesn’t quite get to that level overall. Again, not bad, just not great.

The White Bread

Honestly, there’s not much more I can say about “Robin Hood”. There aren’t any big, epic battle scenes that will blow your hair back and it’s nothing that Ridley Scott can’t come up with in his sleep. It just feels like he was barely awake for most of it, which is saying something for if the guy really focused. It’s worth seeing if you are a Crowe/Scott lover, which I am completely am. If you aren’t into that, well, you could maybe sit this one out.

Cinematically Correct note: This may be my laziest review ever. It’s okay, this may be Ridley Scott’s laziest movie ever. So there.

  1. Dan
    June 2, 2010 at 4:56 AM

    Nice title – I would say yes to that! Robin Hood has really cut critics down the middle – there’s some really mixed reviews. I think it’s more of a grower but I said that about Matchstick Men and I didn’t like it so much the second time of watching.

  2. June 2, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Another thing I failed to mention but was thinking about in this movie, why was Godfrey a turncoat? It never was explained why he turned his back on King John & got in bed with the French. It just kind of…happened.

  3. June 3, 2010 at 3:51 AM

    hehe, nice sign off too. i think youre on to something. i quite enjoyed the film, but yeah, it isnt particularly memorable or anything and im not gonna tell everyone to rush to see it.
    Bryan Adams is a legend – Its Only Love is one of the great forgotten rock songs.
    Reckless is a great album, actually

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