Saturday, October 2, 2010
Robin Hood (Ridley Scott, 2010) UR
I tend to enjoy Ridley Scott’s work, so his addition to the several films that tell the story of Robin Hood, was met with some anticipation. In Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, the director does not let us down. No stranger to filming epic battle sequences, Ridley Scott’s film is visually appealing.
Robin Hood and his comrades stand up to an abusive government to create a better quality of life for the common people. Robin Longstride comes across Robert Loxley, who on death’s door asks Robin to deliver his sword to his father. In order to accomplish this task, Robin decides to assume the identity of the fallen knight, and once home Robert’s father sees no reason to stop the charade. A corrupt sheriff and king add to the villagers’ frustration.
Russell Crowe (Body of Lies) once again teams up with director Ridley Scott, only this time as Robin Longstride. For a darker and grittier retelling of the story of Robin Hood, Russell Crowe does a good job playing the lone-wolf Robin Longstride. Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) plays Marion Loxley, Robin’s love interest Cate Blanchett balances out Russell Crowe’s performance expertly. The chemistry between the two makes me wish they were in a better written movie. William Hurt (Endgame) also joins the cast as William Marshal.
While the directing and the acting are superb, the story does not deliver. The first half of the film brilliantly set up the political atmosphere of the time with the Crusades and the local authorities taking advantage of the villagers with all the men gone. Robin Hood examines Robin Hood before he became Robin Hood, more so than any other film. However, shortly after the halfway point, the storyline shifts from Robin Hood and his story to the story of a French invasion of Britain. Instead of Robin taking back what was stolen by the government, he is now leading an army against France; the second half of Robin Hood looks and feels just like Braveheart (Mel Gibson, 1995). In the first half of the film, Robin and company are talking about wanting to be able to keep the fruits of their individual labor, while at the end of the film, they switch to a socialist propaganda message, where everybody shares the collective wealth. The writers obviously did not have a clear objective when sitting down to write this film; they couldn’t decide if it was going to be a character-based story about Robin Hood or an epic war story.
© 2010 Nate Phillipps