BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
NOVEMBER 2, 2010
The 21st Century version of Robin Hood is not your mom and dad’s Robin Hood. Most know Robin Hood, the outlaw, set with his merry men and Maid Marian, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, portrayed by Kevin Costner. However, Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” dares to look at an unseen Robin Hood lore, where Russell Crowe delves into Robin Longside, who is simply looking to fight alongside his fellow man.
When King Richard the Lionheart dies, Longside ventures home with a crew of men. On the way, they come upon an ambush instigated by Sir Godfrey (Mark Strong). When Robert Loxley requests the return of his sword, Longside gets caught up in a scheme by Loxley’s father, Sir Walter (Max von Sydow), to keep the family farm in possession of Lady Marian (Cate Blanchett).
The cast of “Robin Hood” is superb. Russell Crowe brings sophistication to film, unlike any other actor. Ridley Scott appears to bring out the best of Russell Crowe as they continue their exhilarating work together (“Gladiator,” “A Good Year,” “Body of Lies,” “American Gangster”). Pair Russell Crowe with the likes of Cate Blanchett, and you have succeeded in compiling a timeless piece, bringing a new life to the age-old characters of Robin Hood. Think of the best villains in the past few years, and Mark Strong is bound to come to mind. Strong has made his rounds as the villain lately, as the 19th Century villain of “Sherlock Holmes” (2009), the 21st Century villain of “Kick-Ass” (2010), and now, the 13th Century villain of “Robin Hood” (2010).
“Robin Hood” entertains in a way most action-adventure timepieces fail to, with too much emphasis on the lore and not enough reliance on the performances and lighthearted dialogue. The story gets complicated sometimes, but “Robin Hood” takes a genre unlikely to win any big-time awards and brings it up to the line of being worthy of winning prizes. I will never quite understand how films like “The Young Victoria” get consideration over films like “Robin Hood,” but it remains compelling and worthy of acclamation.
May 14, 2010
Ethan Reiff (story by)
Cyrus Voris (story by)
(for violence including intense sequences of warfare, and some sexual content)
Max von Sydow