Friday Movie Night: Robin Hood (2/5)
I saw Robin Hood last night despite the poor reviews it’s received. Mainly because my wife has a thing for Russell Crowe. I had low expectations going in, but was presently surprised – until the third act.
Robin Longstride has spent 10 years fighting as a common archer in the army of Richard the Lionheart. After returning to England, he travels to the village of Nottingham to return the sword of a fallen Sir Robert Loxley to the knight’s blind father, Sir Matthew (Max van Sydow). Sir Matthew asks Robin to stay and impersonate his son in order to protect his daughter-in-law, Marion.
Meanwhile, King John’s chief advisor, Godfrey, has arranged to betray the king and deliver England to France’s King Phillip.
The beginning and middle of the movie were well done, but could just as easily have been made without the “Robin Hood” connection. Max von Sydow rocks (per usual) and there was some nicely done action and a bit of humor.
Yes, Marion grabs a sword during the attack on Nottingham, but only to fight her way to the burning building where her people were trapped. She didn’t turn into Summer Glau (at least, not yet).
However, once Robin rides from Nottingham (in the North?) to repel the French invasion (on the Southern shore) without breaking a sweat, it all goes downhill fast.
First, Robin the archer deserts his post with the other archers in order to charge into battle waving a warhammer. He’s joined by Marion (in custom armor, no less) who is now an expert swordswoman. She’s followed by a group of lost boys on small horses. Then Robin the archer goes toe-to-toe with Godfrey using a sword.
Not to mention the horrible shaky-cam (complete with close-ups) during the Saving Private Ryan style French landing. Ridley Scott is renowned for his directing style in movies like Alien, Bladerunner and Gladiator. Watching the Saving Private Ryan ripoff, all I could wonder is what the hell happened?
For a movie that claims to be very historically accurate, how did France manage to acquire 20th century style landing craft? Okay, Scott built them out of wood, but the design is obviously based on WWII landing craft.
In summary, I can’t recommend it.