Robin Hood (2010)

So what happens when you make a Robin Hood movie that doesn’t have any Robin Hood? What’s the point of revisiting the legend when you don’t even bother incorporating the elements that made it legendary to begin with? It’s not like they sacrificed familiarity for historical accuracy. Director Ridley Scott’s film spends more time setting up the various pieces of a Robin Hood tale; it’s a prequel at best. This is mostly a historical drama about the English faring off French invasions (the opening text also identifies the setting as the wrong century). The film still manages to be relatively entertaining. The production design and cinematography are top-notch, the acting is robust, Russell Crowe makes a good, if aged, Hood, and the action sequences are thrilling and visually striking. The problem is that there are few action sequences and way too much yakking about foreign policy and Medieval politics and debt. I don’t think people were clamoring for a big-budget Robin Hood revival that explores in depth the financial consequences of an overextended military on the English treasury. This is just not an appealing origin story. The movie resorts to having Hood pose as Maid Marion’s (Cate Blanchett) husband, and it’s as eye-rollingly contrived as any sitcom setup. Originally, the film was designed so that Crowe would play both Hood and the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham (barely seen in the movie). While that is a terrible and senseless idea, at least it would have made the film worth watching from morbid curiosity. Robin Hood isn’t a bad film, but it barely ranks as a Hood outing, and it’s steps behind the delightfully cheesy Kevin Costner version.

Nate’s Grade: B-

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About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on September 8, 2010, in 2010 Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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