Monday, May 24, 2010

Robin Hood

One of the pleasures of going to the movies is when you are able to enjoy a movie you though you wouldn't due to panning by audiences or critics. In the case of Ridley Scott's latest take on the legend of Sherwood Forest, critics have accused him of draining the fun out of the Robin Hood tale by making it to dim and dour, not putting enough into the Crowe/Blanchett romance, and by being a virtual clone of other historical battle epics such as Braveheart and Scott's own Gladiator. This is a more gritty Robin Hood, a reimagining of the classic tale in which Robin assumes the identity of the deceased Robin of Locksley, seduces his widow Marion, and Richard the Lionhearted dies early on (He still meets up with friends Little John and Friar Tuck). The movie is fast-paced and contains some wonderfully shot battle scenes, especially the final one. To address the criticisms, I think they hit the mark but should not be used as criticisms. Though Robin Hood is usually scene as a jolly fellow frollicking throughout the forest, I think the tough minded Russell Crowe is right for the role as the hero of the poor was probably a more serious type. The merriment is retained in scenes involving the merry men, however, and this is not addressed in the reviews. Romances often get in the way of films like this, and I like how it was mostly sidestepped in this film. Finally, the movie does not merely copy great recent battle epics, but goes its own route and earns its place alongside some of the better entries in the genre.