Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Robin Hood

For some reason we think of Robin Hood, and bowmen in general I guess, as spritely acrobatic types ala Errol Flynn.  In reality probably not so much.  While not heavily armored an English bowman was required to do a hell of a pull and do it fast and often.  Exhumed bones show that their weapons of choice forever altered their arms.  They would have in real life looked like my grand father in his ax throwing prime.

Or Russel Crowe.

Which is my way of saying I can't fault the casting of this film.  Russel Crowe while dour and very un Errol Flynn still has fifty times the charisma of Kevin Costner. Everyone else acquits themselves well enough and the script threw enough to Cate Blanchett that she's no longer a fainting maid in distress.  Ridley Scott the director has never framed an ugly composition and the film looks great.

So why wasn't I excited?

Well, the problem is in the story.  Basically, they killed a lot of the classic tropes of the story.  Instead we meet Robin in the middle the crusades and he's tired of it.  When things turn bad, he and a bunch of his buddies take off.  But as they leave to go back to England they find themselves involved in kingly politics.  King Richard seems to be dead and they have to return the crown back to England.  Once there Robin pretends to be Sir Robert of Loxley and goes to Nottinham.  There he gets involved in a complicated scheme to help keep power with the Loxleys.  He continues to pretend to Sir Robert and now married to Marion Loxley to keep the sheriff at bay.  But there is more troubles on the horizon as the french are ready to invade.

As you can see by just that much of the story, they basically kept the name but are telling a far different story of Robin Hood.  Frankly, it just wasn't as fun as the Robin I know and love who'd taunt the sheriff with some bon mot as he makes off with a fat bag of booty.   There's nothing wrong with this version of Robin Hood but it just doesn't spark much in me.


  1. Afraid of that from the previews. Bummer, because Russel probably could have pulled lighter fare (or a more traditional version) just as well.

  2. Russel might be able to pull off a lighter touch, Ridley scott however has never shown any talent in that direction.