It seems inevitable these days that if there’s a beloved, well-known story out there that someone will come along and want to make a grittier and more realistic version of it. This time around, its Ridley Scott retelling the story of Robin Hood. And guess what; it doesn’t work.
Of course they have to do a different story altogether than what we’re used to, as if the film-makers have some special insight into the secret history of Robin Hood and how it “really happened”. This reminds me a lot of the equally drab King Arther movie which came out as few years ago. What bothers me about this (and King Arther for that matter) is that they have titled the movie Robin Hood as if its the definitive story of the character.
Alright, enough of the concept for a bit. How was the movie itself? To sum it up in one word: … “meh”. The movie started out alright with some strong battle scenes, but got pretty bogged down with the France vs. England stuff. The political intrigue aspect they were going for really fell flat. The lines in this movie were also pretty poor, both in writing and delivery.
The production values, however, were top notch and looked very authentic, from the clothing to the props. There was also some great cinematography, especially near the end as they march to fight on the coast. Yet this is soon negated by the strangeness of this movie suddenly turning into the medieval version of Saving Private Ryan.
The movie is a decent historic epic, but nothing spectacular. It lacks an interesting villain and has its fair share of cliches, but it does have coherent story development. But as for being a Robin Hood movie, this is way off the mark. Not only is the tone and jovial spirit of Robin Hood missing, but the story is almost completely unrecognizable. You won’t find any log fights or archery contests here.
In 1938, Errol Flynn and company made an almost perfect Robin Hood film which captured this romantic idea of middle age England beautifully. In the 70’s, Disney also found a way to capture this magic. Even the Prince of Thieves movie in the 90’s held onto the story, though it was pretty dark and murky in tone. This one didn’t even try to resemble the legend. It was pretty much just some story set in medieval England which they slapped Robin hood’s name on and tried to pass off as his back story. As a film its only decent; some good scenes and some tedium mixed together….. but Robin Hood it ain’t.