Robin Hood

"Excellent"

Robin Hood Review


Ridley Scott and his usual Oscar-winning crewmates turn the familiar old English legend into a robust, thumping epic. The pacing is a bit uneven, but it keeps us thoroughly engaged.

Robin Longstride (Crowe) fought alongside King Richard (Danny Huston) in the crusades but returned to England under shady circumstances with two of his archer buddies (Grimes and Doyle) and a beefy fighter (Durand). Heading to Nottingham to honour an oath, he meets Sir Walter (von Sydow) and his feisty daughter-in-law Marian (Blanchett), who are being squeezed out of their land by the Sheriff (Macfadyen). But there are bigger problems, as Godfrey (Strong) marauds through the country with an army of French goons, plotting to steal the country from the vain new King John (Isaac).

Every element is expertly crafted, from the gritty production design to the soaring cinematography. Whooshing arrows, brutal attacks and angry peasants are everywhere, and the digital recreation of 1199 London is impressive (even if the actors' wobbly accents aren't). Meanwhile, writer Helgeland weaves in issues from the 21st century, including financial difficulties, corrupt politicians and unjust tax burdens. And the battles play out on a massive scale, leading to a Spielbergian assault on a beach that has long since vanished from beneath the cliffs of Dover.

In between the action there's rather a lot of drama, from bickering in the Tower between the bratty new king and his patient mother Eleanor of Aquitaine (Atkins) to the tetchy countryside romance between Robin and Marian.

Fortunately, these scenes are extremely well-played, with Blanchett delivering an especially strong turn as a woman far, far ahead of her time.

Meanwhile, Scott indulges in his usual refusal to allow for any shades of grey: people are either virtuous or vile, with little reason why. At least King John keeps us guessing; and after two other supervillain roles in six months (see Sherlock Holmes and Kick-Ass), Strong has perfected his portrayal of pure evil and should really move on now. Sadly, there isn't nearly enough of Robin's merry men, who are lively and funny and presumably will have a lot more to do in the sequel. Yes, this tale finishes right where most Robin Hood movies start.



Robin Hood

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 140 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th May 2010

Box Office USA: $105.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $310.7M

Budget: $200M

Distributed by: Universal

Production compaines: Imagine Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Relativity Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 103 Rotten: 136

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Robin Hood, as Lady Marian, as Sir Godfrey, as Prince John, as Isabella of Angoulême, as Sir Walter Loxley, as King Richard, as Friar Tuck, as William Marshal, as Sheriff of Nottingham, as Little John, as Will Scarlet, as Allan A'Dayle, Ruby Bentall as Margaret Walter's Maid, as Sir Robert Loxley, Robert Pugh as Baron Baldwin, Jessica Raine as Princess Isabel of Gloucester, as Lady-in-Waiting, as Eleanor of Aquitaine

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