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Robin Hood (2010)

Robin Hood (2010) – Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of warfare, and some sexual content.

When one thinks of the heroic outlaw Robin Hood, they think of the man who “stole from the rich and gave to the poor” and wore green tights.  This isn’t that Robin Hood.  At least not yet.  Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood is a “prequel” of sorts, about the back story that made Robin Hood the legend we all know.

The story begins in late 12th century England, with Robin Longstride fighting for King Richard the Lionheart as a common archer.  We also meet Sir Godfrey, who has been ordered by the King of France to assassinate King Richard.  However, he finds out that Richard has already died in battle and is chased off by Robin and his “merry men.”  It is here that Robin meets Robert Loxley, the man who was chosen to deliver Richard’s crown to England, and thus begins his quest to return Loxley’s sword to his father in Nottingham.  Robin assumes the identity of Loxley to deliver the crown and witnesses the crowning of King John, Richard’s younger brother.  King John immediately demands taxes be collected for his country and assigns Sir Godfrey for the job.  Unbeknownst to him, however, Sir Godfrey has already agreed to help the King of France to create a civil war in England and turn his own countrymen against King John.  Meanwhile, Robin heads to Nottingham to deliver Loxley’s sword, and is asked by Sir Walter Loxley to continue impersonating his dead son to prevent his land being taken by the King.  Though Robin and Robert’s wife, Lady Marion, get off to a rough start, they begin to slowly respect and love one another.  When King John learns that Sir Godfrey has deceived him, he agrees to sign a charter of rights to regain the loyalty of his countrymen so they can reunite to fight against the French army.  The film climaxes with the French invasion being met by the English army and a deadly battle is fought and won by the English.  Afterwards, when the King refuses to sign the charter, he instead declares “Robin of the Hood” to be an outlaw for impersonating Loxley.  And this is the beginning of how Robin Hood became the legend.

The cast was brilliant.  Russell Crowe, though having about 5 different accents throughout the film, did a great job as Robin and seemed to be at the top of his game, in true Gladiator form.  Cate Blanchett shined in her expanded role of Lady Marion and got to fight with the men in the final battle.  And Mark Strong obviously relished playing the deliciously evil Sir Godfrey and it showed on-screen.  Ridley Scott really knows how to bring a great epic to screen, even though it was about 2 1/2 hours long.  And the cinematography was breathtaking.  I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen because of how beautiful the camera work was.  John Mathieson, who also worked as director of photography with Scott on Gladiator and a few other films, really did an amazing job of choosing the perfect shot.  Whether it was a closeup or a wide shot, the film looked amazing. 

If this film wasn’t called Robin Hood, it probably wouldn’t be getting as many mixed reviews.  Perhaps Robin Hood: The Beginning?  Or, as a friend jokingly offered, Robin Hood Begins?  If you go into this movie with an open mind (and not expecting Russell Crowe to wear tights or hiding in trees) you’ll enjoy this film.  Filmtastic review = 4 stars.

  1. Chris
    May 14, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I agree! Great movie, just don’t go calling Crowe’s accent Irish, or he’ll swear at you and storm out of the room, haha.

  2. May 14, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Haha yeah I read about that. At least he didn’t throw a phone at the guy!

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