Created on Wednesday, 19 May 2010 13:24
Written by Elaine
In the latest remake of Robin Hood by director Ridley Scott's (Gladiator, Alien), whether the archer has missed his mark or not really depends on your point of view.
Robin Hood (2010) sheds some fictional light on the life of Robin Longstride before he was banished as an outlaw and became known as Robin of the Hood, the legendary prankster of a bandit accompanied by a band of merry men. And of course, they rob the rich to feed the poor.
In this version, Robin (Russell Crowe) starts out as a lowly but courageous archer in the army of King Richard I (Danny Huston), also historically known as the Lionheart. When the king falls in battle with France, Robin and friends escapes only to find the remains of an ambush by English traitor, Godfrey the Bald (Mark Strong) and his French lackeys. There, he stumbles upon dying knight Sir Robert Loxley (Douglas Hodge) who entrusts him with a sword to be returned to his father. Robin then assumes Sir Loxley's identity and responsibilities in delivering the crown back to the royal family and returning the sword to Sir Walter Loxley (Max von Sydow) in return for information of his late father. Here, he meets tough Lady Marion Loxley (Cate Blanchett) and Friar Tuck (Mark Addy). And after a series of clashes and much dialogue which caused a few snores in the theatre, he learns about his father and continues his legacy of standing up for social justice and liberty.
Ridley's Robin Hood, his fifth collaboration with Russell Crowe, is filled with great photography, realistic medieval warfare and well orchestrated fight sequences but it lacks good dialogue and somehow comes across as a somewhat redundant remake.
Besides, it caused much disappointment for fans of the classic Robin Hood. Friar, Will, Allan and Little John - the infamous merry men - bared little of their merriment in this version of Robin Hood and Crowe gives barely a hint of the classic prankster. The actor of mostly silent, dogged roles barely smiles - leaving us hardly any room for an expected grin from the cheeky robber.
Nonetheless, the film, which ends with "And so the legend begins", almost promises a sequel and I, for one, am curious to see how Crowe would break out of his usual cool roles.
Related links: Robin Hood (2010) website