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14th May
2010
written by Adam

Director Ridley Scott brings the latest re-telling of the tale of Robin Hood this weekend; this time offering the origins of Robin and his band of merry men. Told with selective historical accuracy the film begins in France with Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe), an archer in the army of Richard Coeur de Lion (Danny Huston), who returns England to tell of the king’s death. Upon his return Robin travels to Nottingham to also make good on a promise made to a dying knight. When he arrives in Nottingham and reveals his identity to Sir Walter Loxley (Max von Sydow), Sir Walter makes in interesting proposition– assume the role of his son lost in battle,  in return he’ll learn of his true past. To keep up appearances Robin is also to treat Marion Loxley (Cate Blanchett) as his wife. But, bigger forces are now at work as a group of Norman invaders are in England working to create civil war and weaken the English army. With a weakened army King Philip of France will then be able to overthrow the new tyrannical King John of England (Oscar Isaac). Perhaps Robin can be the uniting force to rally the country, but how will King John take to this natural leader and free thinker? A fairly thick story that’s a bit hard to follow with many moving parts seems to be the biggest downfall to what could be an interesting take on the legendary Prince of Thieves. It’s as if there were so many ideas and sub-plots that needed to be told the writers just decided to put them all into a blender, hit frappe and pour them onto the page, a bit confusing to decipher to say the least. Meanwhile the acting is solid from all of the principals as one would expect, in fact Crowe, Blanchett, and von Sydow all hit home runs, it’s just unfortunate they’re given such cumbersome material to work with. Standard Ridley Scott close-up shakey cinematography for action scenes runs rampant through this film as well, except now, this just illicits a ho-hum instead of oh wow. A less imaginative score also seemed to detract from the film to boot, leaving this film feeling okay but not great. Maybe a matinee. Robin Hood is rated PG-13.

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