Friday, September 24, 2010

DVD--Robin Hood

or: Russell and Ridley make Men in Tights...just without the men in tights.

One word to sum it up: Yawn

Robin Hood should have been great. It had everything going for it. Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott were teaming up for the millionth time, but this time tackling an age old story of the msot famous outlaw. Cate Blanchett as Marion. Where did it all go wrong? Batman Begins was the right title for a prequel on Batman, but Robin Hood isn't a good title for a prequel on Robin Hood. That is because throughout most of the movie his name is Robin Longstride and he isn't actually declared an outlaw until the very end of the movie.

This is the untold story of the man behind the legend as Robin (Russell Crowe), a heroic warrior, turns outlaw when he assembles a band of skilled marauders to confront injustice and lead an uprising against the weak and corrupt English King. When the rebellious hero falls for free spirited Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett), he must first save her village and then confront a growing storm of threats from near and afar if he is to win her heart. As Robin and his men answer a call to ever-greater adventure, these unlikely heroes set off to battle for their country and return England to glory—and ride into the legend.

Like most movies, Robin Hood has it's stunning points. It is done in a way which is true to the period, and almost has that Gladiator sort of feel to it, which is what to be expected of Ridley Scott. Towards the end, the film really gained momentum and shone like an epic movie should. Unfortunately, it was a shame that the first one and a half hours (give or take) was actually really boring. Like, nothing happened, apart from a few action sequences placed here and there. I don't even think me paying attention any more than I was would have stopped me from finding it boring. Obviously, the story before the story of Robin Hood wasn't going to be that interesting, but at least it could have tried. I kinda felt like I had to have lived in the 13th century to get any of it.

Russell Crowe makes a convincing Robin, even though he is a little too old for the role and I still felt like this was a rehash of his much better Gladiator performance. When you take a look at Russell and Ridley's working collaborations, there is only one that stands out as a particularly good film: Gladiator. Look at A Good Year and Body of Lies, neither of these films fared very well, and their only saving grace was the star and the director. It's time the pair made a better movie, because they still do have a lot of potential. Thank God Cate Blanchett came along for the ride, too. She was marvellous, as always, in her role, but her performance, too, felt like a rehash of a much better The Aviator. If anything, the stars will get you through, just.

It's trying hard to be the epic film which we haven't seen in a while, but maybe today's audience isn't looking for a medieval romp. Maybe we aren't looking for the back story on a character which we have already seen a film on countless numbers of times. To be honest, I would rather have seen a remake of the actual story on Robin Hood, not Robin Longstride. The film really doesn't have much going for it until the last hour, and even then, you may find yourself constantly checking the time and wondering how much further you have to go.

THE VERDICT: Should have been better. Could have been better. Would have been better. So what went wrong?


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