It just didn't work for me.
I admire Russell Crowe as an actor. I love the "Robin Hood" legend. I
think Ridley Scott is one of the great directors of our time.
In short, I sat down wanting to like this movie. And in the end, I just
couldn't like it.
Part of the problem: when you sit down to view a movie, you only have a
very short time to get to know and to "buy into" the characters. If the
look of the movie keeps you from readily identifying the characters,
you have a problem.
In any kind of pre-Renaissance costume drama where the characters are
all dressed much alike, you can really have a problem figuring out who
the characters are, especially if many of the scenes are very dark,
which makes it hard to see the characters, and if those scenes involve
a lot of action, with quick cuts and a lot of confusion on screen. This
was a problem for me early in the movie. Sure, I know Russell Crowe and
I know he's the "good guy," and that helps, but it wasn't enough. I had
trouble in the first half-hour or so of the movie figuring out who was
who and keeping track of everything that was going on. It helped to be
able to TiVo the movie, so I could go back and look at things, or pause
the action to sort it out. But if I had seen the movie in a theater, I
wouldn't have been able to do that, and it would have been quite
frustrating in some of the scenes.
It was also difficult to understand what was going on with the
historical context. FWIW, this movie involves some of the same
historical characters as "The Lion in Winter," the sons of Eleanor of
Aquitaine who were vying for the throne of England while at the same
time staving off challenges from other crowned heads of Europe. I'm
thankful that I had some historical knowledge to give me context for
this set-up, because if I hadn't had it, I would have been completely
lost. As it was, it wasn't quite enough: I couldn't figure out what was
going on until after the movie, when I sat down with my laptop and did
some review, and then went back and re-played some of the scenes.
Again, had I been in the theater when I saw this movie, I would have
That's not to say the movie is a total loss. Russell Crowe is very
watchable, and the interplay between Crowe and Cate Blanchett was good
to watch. Also, Mark Strong makes a convincing bad guy, although I
couldn't really figure out his motivations.
But in the end, I'd have to say that for most people, this movie
probably wouldn't work, and so I really wouldn't recommend it. If
you're going to watch it, I highly recommend that you be prepared to go
back and forth in some scenes. I also recommend that you read a little
bit about Eleanor of Aquitaine and her sons King John, Henry
Plantagenet, Richard III, and Geoffery Plantagenet.
And if you're really not inclined to do that much preparation for a
movie, then I recommend you give "Robin Hood" a miss and sit down to
watch "The Lion in Winter" with Katherine Hepburn and Peter O' Toole
instead. Same basic characters, sans Robin Hood, but a much better
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Robin the Hero
Although, the movie is not necessarily correct in world history, and
the logistics of the battles are also not in sinc, this is a movie, it
doesn't have to be realistic. I read an article on Robin Hood
www.boldoutlaw.com/realrob/realrob2.html#1320, part of the article
says, "One of the earliest surviving ballads is A Gest of Robyn Hode.
In the Gest, a "comely" king named Edward is travelling around the
country. He meets Robin Hood, pardons him, and Robin goes to work in
his court. Fifteen months later, Robin goes broke, gets bored, and
returns to his outlaw life". This certainly is not the Robin Hood of
Robin Hood can be seen as many types of person.
I do feel that this movie was inspiring, although not realistic. The
relationship that builds up between Robin Hood and Marianne was very
refreshing and real. It didn't have any of that hot sex scenes as you
see in practically every movie. Robin Hoods men, or knights were
completely devoted to him. This gave Robin Hood the esteem and
reverence to the viewers of the movie.