"Robin Hood" DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review (2010)

10/03/2010 Posted by Admin

Movie Review

“Robin Hood”

Directed by Ridley Scott, written by Brian Helgeland, 131 minutes, rated PG-13.

By Christopher Smith

The best thing that can be said about Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood” is that it wasn’t presented in 3D. You can just image the horror of Russell Crowe’s ego flying at you from the screen. Unfortunately, the film skirts that cliché to embrace another--it’s yet another Hollywood reboot, one that huffs and puffs to right itself beneath the bloat of its own weight.

Brian Helgeland based the film on a story he co-wrote with Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Vorus, and what they created is a movie stripped of any sense of humor or wit. While nobody coming to it will expect the far-out absurdity of “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” it isn’t out of the question to think that they might have hoped for something close to Errol Flynn’s take on the tale.

But forget that.

There is no flight-of-fancy swordplay here, no glimmer that anyone came to have a good time. This is a meat-and-potatoes version, caked in violence, blood and mud, swallowed down with a few gallons of mead, and then belched onto the screen in some kind of manly overture.

Set in 12th century England, the film is grim and mostly flat, with the occasional fight sequence staged to break up the monotony. Since Scott treats his movie as an origins story, much as, say, Christopher Nolan did in “Batman Begins,” we thus need to slog through reams of exposition about how the commoner Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) became the epic Robin Hood of lore. If this makes it sound as of Scott is treating his movie as a superhero movie, it’s because he is. And he should have reconsidered.

We get every bit of the backstory--and then some--before the movie turns to the film’s present and finds Robin returning from the Third Crusade, still good with an arrow but crushed by the death of King Richard the Lionheart (Danny Huston).

Since what ensues is as complex as George “Rentboy” Rekers is dense, let’s throw it all in a boiling pot and reduce it to its essence: Richard’s death ignites within Robin a need to continue his fight, and so circumstances lead him to assemble an army to bring down the French. Meanwhile, Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett) has lost her husband, might lose her land, has a mild flirtation with Robin, grimaces on cue and--channeling her inner feminist--takes a sword of her own to fight the good fight against Sir Godfrey (Mark Strong), who is the film’s chief villain.

Onward it goes, and yet where’s the momentum? Some scenes rise to the occasion, but with the exception of the film’s last five minutes, when Crowe finally flashes a smile, this “Robin Hood” is a frowning, brooding bust at best.

All of this is so typical of Crowe, who spits testosterone onscreen and off. It figures that he would want to play a humorless version of “Robin Hood,” lest any lightness of touch be considered anything other than just someone comfortable enough with himself to have a grand time onscreen. Nice cinematography and set design aside, “Robin Hood” fails at its most basic level--it’s not particularly entertaining, and as such, it’s not particularly worth your time.

Grade: C-

View the trailer for "Robin Hood" below. Thoughts?

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes


  1. Anonymous said...

    All that talk about Crowe's ego gets real old, real fast, especially if you've ever taken ten minutes to watch him on Leno,Letterman,Oprah or de Generes, or read a decent interview by a real journalist who does his homework.

    Anyway, you couldn't be more wrong about Robin Hood.

  2. Christopher said...

    That takes guts to be...Anonymous.

  3. Liz said...

    Feel better?
    My point still stands.