You all know the legend of Robin Hood, he stole from the rich and gave to the poor, living in Sherwood Forest with his band of merry men, his main nemesis being the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. And there have been many version of Robin over the years. My personal favourite still remains the tv show from the 80s Robin of Sherwood. It managed to get the balance between myth and reality just about right, in my opinion, of course. But even Kevin Costner’s version was damn fine fun. This is not.
And don’t be looking for anything that identifies Russell Crowe as Robin, because apart from the name and the fact that he uses a bow on occasion you won’t get it. Sure the names are all familiar but that’s about it. Now I have no problem with re-interpreting myths and legends. Sometimes to make them more gritty, sometimes to emphasize the magical. Sometimes just to fool around and because it can be great fun. This just seemed so pointless.
And honestly I could go on and on about what I didn’t like. I won’t totally bore you. I’m just going to run through a few of the things I disliked the most.
First off, about half an hour or so in I was bored. Bored, of Robin Hood! How Scott & Helgeland managed to achieve that I’m not sure. But I was. Not so bored I fell asleep or anything, but nevertheless, this was not a good sign. And then there was the way some of the actors seemed to be trying to imitate other actors/characters. I think it was King Richard who on occasion sounded like Richard Harris. And Prince John tried to pull a Commodus on occasion. Crowe was his usual Crowe-ness. I can’t really complain about his acting because it didn’t seem like he had any material to work with. He was adequate when he should have been great. You need your Robin to excel, especially when you are making so many changes to the story and characters, you need to give the audience a reason to like our changed heroes. I had none.
And then there was the fact that everything seemed so pedestrian, as though no effort was put into anything. The action scenes looked lazy for the most part. One or two did work well, but none was great.
Then there was the ending… Don’t worry, I wouldn’t spoil it on you, I’m just going to say that it made no sense whatsoever. Not unless this was a really badly done origin story and Scott is going to try and inflict a franchise on us. I shudder to think about that!
For the most part I found Marion to be one of the more engaging characters, but given the other lack of characters, that wasn’t really that hard, so I found it all the more annoying when she turned out to be such a dunce in the final action scene Show Spoiler ▼
And when Robin made his loving declaration to her I was left feeling “what! where did that come from.” I mean, I could’ve seen them growing together, but that sudden statement came out of nowhere.
I’m going to stop now, before I launch into the what was the story with the forest children, and why what was their purpose. Maybe I should mention some positives… Oh yeah, I thought the horse charge on the beach was really well done, and the horses looked like they really were in battle. So that was cool. Very pretty horses were used. And the ponies were cute. And erm… I’ll shut-up now.