Monday, June 21, 2010

Robin Hood Film Review

Right from the posters, this movie creates the doubt in you - the grey backgrounds, the monotone images - though representative of the English countryside, do not inspire the thoughts of Robin Hood, the outlaw who has a band of merry men in the Sherwood forest.

The movie opens with Richard the Lion Heart's 10 year Campaign and you see Robin Hood as Robin Longstride, the archer in the army. The movie then goes on expostulate Longstride's character, loyalty to friends, honesty in the face of adversity etc. By a twist of fate, Longstride ends up posing as Sir Robert Loxley to get back to England. Once there, to honor his word, Longstride goes to the actual Loxley home to deliver a family heirloom. During this journey, he realizes his real background, his past and what his future should be and is a part of an English effort to drive the invading French King.

As already noted, the movie underwhelms you at every turn. Since Hollywood has been enamored with origins and the unexplored dark side of popular movie characters or super heroes, the trend continues with Robin Hood as well. I believe the movie should have promoted more as an Origins than as Robin Hood, which led to mismatched expectations, at least from me.

On the casting side, Russell Crowe gives a different interpretation to the popular character and seems earnest and sincere if not playing to the gallery. Cate Blanchett makes a brilliant Lady Marion (a bright spot in the movie). Oscar Issac who plays King John hams a lot and I think has been included for comic effect. As always with Scott's movies, there has been a detailed level of research and analysis into props and facts and backgrounds.

The movie had me looking at the time a couple of times - an indicator that all was not well with the editor when he was doing his work.

On the whole, this movie is a dampner coming from the Scott - Crowe staables!

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