Friday, 14 May 2010

Robin Hood: Movie Review

Robin Hood: Movie Review

Robin Hood
Rating: 7/10
Cast: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Max von Sydow, Mark Addy, William Hurt, Oscar Isaac
Director: Ridley Scott
And so the Legend begins...
Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe have reteamed for their fifth collaboration - and a new take on the folklore hero of Robin of the Hood.
It's 1199 and a glowering Crowe is Robin Longstride, an archer in King Richard The Lionheart's army, who's been fighting in the Crusades for the past decade.
Following the death of the king in battle Longstride and three comrades (Will Scarlett, Little John and Allan A'Dale) head back to England to try and restart their lives. But before Longstride can resume his life (despite never knowing exactly who his father was), he has to keep a promise made to a dying knight, Robert of Loxley.

The problem is that when he returns to Loxley in Nottingham, Robert's father (a frail Max von Sydow) asks him to impersonate his son to keep the village alive with hope - particularly as the recently crowned King John (Isaac) has started a crusade of taxation.

But all of that pales into insignificance with the treacherous machinations of the half French half English Sir Godfrey (a wonderful as ever Mark Strong) who's leading a charge to help the French invade...

Ridley Scott's Robin Hood is a good epic take on the story - sure there will be some who'll feel that he's taken liberties with the story - but what he's crafted is an intelligently told and thoughtful story which in no shape or form is simply Gladiator with Bows and Arrows.

Russell Crowe is restrained as Robin; plenty of scowling but you can tell he is the kind of man who does the right thing. Longstride's relationship with Cate Blanchett's Maid Marian works well as the flick takes time to build it up - giving it more of a realistic feel and one which feels human. The film becomes a thoughtful piece with more of an accent on characters rather than action.

There's some pretty impressive action sequences in the film too - thankfully not too many clich├ęd slow mo shots of arrows being fired. Each battle scene is bloody, brutal and violent - reminders that combat in those days was painful and difficult.
The final epic sequence which culminates on a battle on England's Dover cliffs is stunning - cameras swoop in and capture every nuance of the action.

If there's to be one complaint of the 150 minute running time, it's that you may leave feeling there were some lulls; coupled with a feeling that very little actually happens over a long time, it's fair to say that Ridley Scott's Robin Hood hits the target - but just narrowly misses the bullseye.

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