Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rise Rise until Lambs Become Lions

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Robin Hood is a character not unfamiliar to cinema, music and literature and the like. Whether it's Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Carey Elwes or a fox, Robin Hood has seen many forms. But where does Robin Hood come from? How did the legend come to be? Who is the man under the hood? Well Ridley and Tony Scott of Gladiator fame decided to make that the subject of their new period piece epic entitled Robin Hood. Is it the epic follow up to Gladiator we were all waiting for or is it over hyped, over blown rubbish. Well while not a perfect movie by any means, Robin Hood is still a decent film worth seeing.
The story follows Robin Longstride, an archer of King Richard and his three "merry men" Will Scarlett (his nephew), Little John (his best friend) and Alan A'Dale (the minstrel?). All of them together work as a cohesive unit and when King Richard dies in battle, the four decide it's time to go home after ten years of fighting. They run into a glitch however when they learn the King of France and his assassin Sir Godfrey (who works for the King of England as well) wanted the King dead and want to take over England. On top of that, one of the men that Godfrey kills during a nearby ambush's (where they discover the plot) last request is that his sword is returned to his wife.

So with a storm a brewing and a sword to be returned the men are off and after returning the crown (and getting some money), they head to Nottingham where the man is from. They return the sword and Robin falls in love with the man's widow Marian. They live well until the storm starts exploding and so it's up to Robin to protect his land, his new woman and the king of England.

The story for the most part is actually good. Part drama, part action and part comedy it mixes quite well. The "merry men" work well as comic reliefs and can lighten some really heavy moods or provide hilarious banter. The drama between Godfrey's actions as well as the romance between Robin and Marian is pretty well developed as well although some of each of those instances could have been cut out. And the action is what you'd come to expect from Ridley and Tony by now. Big, epic fights over beautiful landscapes with lots of people fighting, cool death blows, Russel Crowe screaming, and slow-mo. It's awesome but nothing we've never seen before.
The acting however is hit or miss. Crowe, Blanchett, and the "merry men" are all quite good but the rest of the acting is pretty sub-par. The King is a total whiny baby and must have taken classes from the Johnathan Rhys-Meyers school of yelling to make things sound important school of acting. He yells, he throws things, I was just waiting for this:

See what I mean? Also most of the great character actors are misused or only have brief scenes which is really a shame. And Mark Strong is near insufferable playing the same character we've seen for a few movies now of angry villain character. It gets old after a while. The only other complaint I have is it drags on too long and feels heavy.

Heaviness, length, and sub-par acting aside this is a decent adaptation of a classic character. Give it a look.


1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed this. Very divisive movie as a lot of people really thought it was mediocre while a lot of other people thought it was perfectly good, not great of course but good. I'm one of them :)