Robin Hood (2010)
Robin Hood Review
I'm sure that prior to this film coming out we've all heard the tale of Robin Hood in the form of film at least once. An English bowman who stands with his Merry Men against King John because of his taxation on the English people, that sort of thing. We've seen several film adaptations as well be it the Arrow Flynn original, Mel Brooke's Men in Tights, or the surprisingly underrated Disney animated film. Whatever the case, there's a new one on the block and it's a wonder how it stands against the competition directed by Ridley Scott, the director of Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven.
In terms of story, it's the same setting as just about any other Robin Hood film, Richard's brother John becomes king and starts taking taxes from his people to pay for the army. Of course I think it's important for me to address something that critics have been pointing out, saying that this film is lacking the adventure aspect that made Robin Hood a legend in the first place. In a way I think the target was missed here because this film doesn't explain the whole legend, it's more of an origin story such as Batman Begins where it tells how the legend originates in the first place. That of course happening with the introduction of Russell Crowe as Robin Longstride who then makes his way to England to deliver the bad news about Richard only to find that he is mistaken by many under the name of Locksley and is sent to the village of Nottingham to see that it is in grave peril because of John's orders for more taxes and demand of their grain from the clergy. All of this is happening while King Philip of France is planning an invasion because of the unrest John has begun to stir, which leads up to the climax of the film. I think I've probably given enough already about the story already, so that's how I'll try to explain it.
The story's execution is a very well paced and attention grabbing method as it is a little over 2 hours long, but it has enough action and character development to keep the flow from feeling dragged. The action sequences are excellent and carried by will be keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout most of the way through. The character development is strong and only bolstered by very good acting in particular on the parts of Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchet (who is Maid Miriam by the way).
Probably the only real complaint one could make about this film is that it seems to end when the tale begins, but like I said it's an origin story rather than the whole legend itself. I think it's possible that maybe sometime in the future Ridley Scott will revisit the project with a sequel and then we'll have the adventurous aspect that critics might have wanted. Of course probably not anytime soon since Ridley Scott does have another two projects in mind later on, which you might know of if you've been following him in recent years.
Overall I think Ridley Scott's take on the legend is a pretty good way to show where this figure came from, but some might be a bit disappointed to see that for the next two hours you only essentially get to see the pieces set in play for something bigger and more grand scale. If you're willing to give this idea a chance though, you'll find something to like in this new historic epic.