MOVIES: Robin Hood

Personally I find it better than what the media is saying. Just don’t expect another version of The Adventures of Robin Hood or Prince of Thieves, because it’s not trying to be that at all (which seems to have gone over the head of dozens of reviewers). It’s refreshing to have an epic action movie with more than typical substance and without typical CGI battle scenes. Also Prince John is played by the actor who played Joseph in The Nativity Story.

Thanks for the info.

I am always leery when any movie is universally panned or praised.

I am happy to hear this one is not a waste of my movie dollars. Hubby & I plan to go see it this weekend…or see “Iron Man 2” — whichever one we can get into. Two weeks ago we went to see “Iron Man” and the theater was full and had a line already for the next show! :eek:

I love Russell Crowe in pretty much anything. The only real problem I have with this is it is supposed to be the “beginning” of Robin Hood. Crowe is in his late 40’s. Does that detract from your watching this movie?

I don’t know, man. Maybe it is just that I drank thrice from the font of cinematic genius that was Kick-A**, but I thought Robin Hood was very poorly done.

For one thing, it was confused and unfocused. For another, there was a pagan vibe to the whole thing. For another, there was practically no archery and virtually no robbing the rich and giving to the poor. Instead we get reverse Medieval D Day (Operation Leon du Mer?), pagan loincloth kids riding horses into battle with an armored -]Maid/-] Marian, and Robin Longstride swinging his signature weapon, the warhammer (?). And something about the Magna Carta. As started by heroic Freemasons. And William Marshal.

On the other hand, as a thought experiment as to what it would be like if Medieval Europe wasn’t Christian and Robin Hood didn’t shoot a bow, I suppose it is one of the possible ways that could shake out.

Hit Girl rocks!

Ok, spoiler-filled recap follows:

Robin “Longstride” is introduced as a veteran archer who grew up without a father. The Third Crusade is over and King Richard is pillaging France on the way home.

Marion is introduced as a noblewoman looking after her husband’s estate in the village of Nottingham. The struggling village is plagued by a band of forest-dwelling orphan youths who steal the grain harvest.

After Richard is killed in battle, Robin and his friends, the future Merry Men, desert the army to make their own way home. They come across a forest ambush of Richard’s knights who were taking the royal crown back to England. One of the dying knights and Marion’s husband, Sir Robert Loxley, tells Robin to give his sword back to his father in Nottingham. Robin and his friends disguise themselves as the dead knights to gain passage back to England.

They are taken straight to London where Robin, as Robert, delivers the crown to Prince John, who is crowned on the spot. Then they go to Nottingham where Robin meets Marion and her elderly father-in-law, Sir Walter. Upon learning of his son’s death and Robin’s real identity, Sir Walter tells Robin to continue to pose as his son so that the Loxley estate won’t be seized by the crown if he dies (since widows cannot own land). He offers to tell Robin about his real father in return.

So Robin and his friends end up staying in Nottingham. After the last of the grain is taxed away, they (wearing hoods) intercept the collectors and take it back. Marion is grateful and comes to fall in love with Robin, and vice versa.

Meanwhile, France is plotting against England and King John orders a raise in taxes. He tasks his newly appointed Chancellor, Lord Godfrey, to personally oversee the collecting. But Godfrey is a traitor who brutally plunders the land, provoking the barons to rise up against John. With the kingdom in civil war, the French plan to invade. Godfrey in fact led the ambush of Richard’s knights earlier, was present at John’s coronation, and thus knows Robin cannot be Sir Robert Loxley.

The two plot threads meet when Robin’s father is revealed to have been executed for writing a charter of civil rights. With the French invasion imminent, John meets with the restive barons, who demand government reforms. Robin shows up with his father’s charter, which is the answer to their immediate problem. John promises to sign such a charter after they defeat the French, which rallies everyone behind him.

But as John and his lords and knights and Robin talk, Godfrey is plundering Nottingham. Robin returns with some soldiers and drives him off, but not before Godfrey kills Sir Walter.

The French launch their invasion, are met at the beaches by the English and driven back. Marion, attired as a knight, shows up with the forest youths from the start of the film(!) and charges into battle, in revenge for her father-in-law. She is nearly killed by Godfrey, but Robin savers her and kills him with an arrow shot.

The film ends with John breaking his word and declaring Robin to be an outlaw. Robin thus completely becomes “Robin Hood” in the last minutes of the film.

Now, responses to previous posts:

I didn’t feel Crowe was too old, and within the parameters of the film as a “retelling from scratch” it worked.

There was no archery contest, but plenty of archery.

The film also has flaws which I think may have been created or worsened by editing. The kids don’t receive much backstory, and the subplot about Robin’s father needs more room to breathe. Most glaring is the omission of a scene where Robin’s true non-knight identity is revealed to John and the noblemen. Impersonating a knight is one of the crimes that leads to his being outlawed. And there was a lack of traditional Robin Hood elements.

Pagan? :confused: Multiple references to religion, including Friar Tuck and the Crusades.

But it’s not horrible like its Rotten Tomatoes score (45% negative :eek:). It’s an origin story which aims to retell the story behind our preconceived notions of Robin Hood, especially the Robin of Errol Flynn. The legend had few similarities to the popular version at first. He was just a thief punishing the corrupt. Now the story of the film may be largely fictional, but it’s not supposed to be the same old Flynn stuff.

Awww, dude… that is one gay-looking taser.


I would so adopt that child.

Dang but she has expensive taste in knives, though. Those Benchmade Model 42s are like 300 bucks apiece! And her daddy bought her two… just goes to show what a big softie he was.

Steve Greydanus at didn’t seem to think too highly of the film.

Ridley Scott wants you to know that the Crusades were a bad thing. Five years ago he made a whole movie about it, Kingdom of Heaven, but you may have missed it, or perhaps you saw it and forgot pretty much everything but the battle scenes.

Now Scott has made another movie with a more formidable leading man, Russell Crowe rather than Orlando Bloom, not to mention a more marketable title. While it’s not as central to Robin Hood, Scott would like to remind you of some of the finer points from Kingdom of Heaven you might have missed or forgotten: Christians committing atrocities against Muslims as well as their fellow Christians; the hypocrisy and corruption of bishops and even popes.

Like Kingdom of Heaven, Robin Hood is replete with the opportunism and foolishness of the Crusades. That the whole business was originally a Christian reaction to aggressive Muslim expansionism is an idea even more studiously ignored here than in Kingdom.

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Well yes, the Crusades are once again given a one-sided treatment, but this hardly affects the film. I think he exaggerates with “replete”. They are mentioned in the beginning and hardly ever again.

The church’s higher clergy are shown to be un-Christian, but that’s in the real Robin Hood legend too - he was as much a scourge to corrupt abbots as to tax collectors. And there’s Friar Tuck.

Greydanus also says he simply does not like the grim and gritty treatments of old legends, like many, many negative reviewers who expected a retread of jolly old Flynn. At least Greydanus recognizes the film is trying to do its own thing.

I’m not sure why many reviewers are surprised by the lack of merriment. It’s from director Ridley Scott and starring Russel Crowe. I sort of figured it would be darker, more like a medieval English version of Gladiator.

I definitely won’t see it in the theater (as I haven’t seen anything in the theater since having kids :o). I’m not sure if I’ll check it out when it comes on DVD. I really liked Gladiator, but wasn’t really impressed with Kingdom of Heaven. :shrug: I do like epic action movies, though.

The only thing it has in common with Gladiator, aside from the same people and being action-adventure, is Robin’s haircut.

I really enjoyed this movie, but I am a bit of a history buff (crusades with King Richard, King John and the Magna Carta, animosity between England and France, which is pretty cool because I’ve just finished reading a book about the start of the Hundred Year’s War).

I was quite pleasantly surprised that it was an “origin story” too, but then again the “classic” Robin Hood doesn’t exactly have much to it (generic plot to steal stuff from rich and King John). Plus longbow shots from hundreds of meters away through the neck = automatically cool.

I liked Russell Crowe, but I didnt like everything about the movie.

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