So our film guest blogger Yalin didn’t think much of Robin Hood, giving it barely 3 stars…
I would have loved to be at Cannes to see the reactions of the critics after seeing Robin Hood. Ridley Scott claims to have made the most historically accurate Robin Hood film, and while it may be the case, the film feels devoid of energy despite its attempts to appear epic. A visual and directorial quality that seems more appropriate for a TV series haunts the 140 mins.
Robin Hood is too focused on getting the story moving that it forgets to pay attention to its characters, which results in the same experience as watching The Tudors on TV. The only scenes where the film really grips the viewer are courtesy of Cate Blanchett, whose Lady Marion owns and rules the screen.
Unlike many previous films, Scott doesn’t deal with the traditional part of Robin Hood’s story. The film doesn’t involve his band of thieves who steal from the rich to give to the poor. The Sheriff of Nottingham is reduced to a mere side character.
Instead, Scott focuses on the origins of the man himself and how he became to be Robin Hood. Granted, it is a very good story that involves familial separation, rediscovery of identity, a thirst for revenge, and unexpected attraction. As a common archer in King Richard the Lionheart’s army, Robin Longstride witnesses the death of the king on his return home from France. Through chance or some may call it fate, he intercepts the French who are trying to possess the King’s crown. This encounter sets him on a path back to England posing as a knight named Robert of Loxley, delivering the crown to King Richard’s brother.
Through many more story twists, he ends up leading the charge against traitors and the invading French and finally makes a stand for democracy, which obviously doesn’t go down well with the new King. Thus, he becomes Robin Hood.
I must say that I have never been a fan of Russell Crowe, and his performance as Robin Hood feels like Gladiator 2 to me. His acting range is very limited so the only character-specific changes I could notice were physical. Crowe is a bit puffier and meatier than before, but the range of facial expressions is still limited, not to mention he looks a bit too old for the character. Cate Blanchett, on the other hand, once again convinces everyone that she is the living, breathing Marion Loxley. Blanchett is one of those few actresses who can really differentiate the characters she plays. If it wasn’t for her, my rating for the film would be lower.
But Blanchett can only do so much. The only epic moment in the film is either a copy or a nod to Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, and the washed out colors don’t help the cinematography become somewhat exciting.
Robin Hood leaves a lukewarm taste; it’s a not a bad film, but it’s not a great film either. It sits on the verge of acceptable, and that just won’t do for the great director Ridley Scott.