Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Robin Hood (2010)

D-Day actually happened in the 13th century.

Russel Crowe and Ridley Scott are a match made in heaven. This is what I thought until I looked more closely. Sure, their first collaboration resulted in one of my favorite epics of all time, Gladiator, but all of their other films have been pretty questionable. Robin Hood proved one thing, these two gentlemen need to go their separate ways. The magic is gone and even though Robin Hood has brief moments where both the actor and the director shine, the movie is, overall, a complete failure.

Robin Hood is really a revisionist prequel to the Robin Hood story we all know and love. It's also a prequel to the the good stuff. Rather than clever traps and a quick tongue, we're given a Robin Hood before any of the fun stuff. In typical Hollywood fashion, a bunch of fortunate twists of fate put our protagonist in just the right place for him to start banging Cate Blanchett and to become a landed citizen. The film starts a bunch of recognizable faces other than the stars including William Hurt and Max von Sydow and even the supporting characters all look terribly familiar. The film is fresh out of the gates, but already looking to be a mild success at best. In it's first week, it failed to make more money then the aging Iron Man 2. Robin Hood will likely be forgotten as quickly as the last failed attempt to make a Robin Hood movie with a big star in the lead. I'm looking at you Kevin Costner.

It's hard to narrow down the mistakes in Robin Hood to one specific thing that drives it towards failure because there are just so many. In concept alone, the movie fails. Revisionist history and storytelling can be really interesting, but there is nothing interesting about this retelling. The Robin Hood back-story is fine as it is and not giving the audience that story creates false expectations that only lead to disappointment. I was prepared for the story arch, but I still found it rather bland. One of the best things about Robin Hood is that he goes from being a complete nobody to one of the most influential men in the country. This story removes that whole element. This is coupled with the film's poor pace makes it a drag to watch. The film is more than two hours long, most of which is needless plot and dialog, and even the battle scenes are fairly underwhelming. The film suffers from ADD, like most modern action movies, and the battles are a jumbled mess of editing and angles that makes it difficult to watch. The films saving grace is that Robin Hood wields an actual war-hammer in the final battle. I thought those things were only in video games.

There aren't many good things to say about Robin Hood. I'm sure disappointment is factoring into my review, but I just can't get excited about the movie. There are better Robin Hood movies, better actions movies, better historical epics and better movies staring Russel Crowe that are directed by Ridley Scott. The second coming of Gladiator this is not. 


1 comment:

simoncolumb said...

You are completely right - every factor about this film has been done better, elsewhere.

great summary!