Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Robin Hood (2010)


It sounds like a perfectly dreadful film. Steve Greydanus reviews it, HERE. Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal says:
Robin Hoods have come and gone, at least one of them wondrously zestful (Errol Flynn's) and one of them woefully zonked (Kevin Costner's). Up to now, the only absurd retelling of the evergreen legend has been Mel Brooks's send-up, "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." Yet Ridley Scott's new version achieves an absurdity all its own. It's an ersatz epic about men in fights—grim fights, grinding battles, clanking combats that are repetitive and, in a movie that runs 140 minutes, all but endless. Russell Crowe fights against Brian Helgeland's turgid script—although, as the star and one of the producers, he must have been complicit in its development. Still, he's thwarted by the production's almost total, and truly absurd, absence of fun.

"The more the merrier," Robin says at one point. If only. The sole merriment outbreak occurs, perversely, at the very end, when all battles have ceased and Robin and his men are regrouping in the forest. Until then, this phenomenally monotonous "Robin Hood" dwells on Robin's beginnings as a commoner who impersonates a knight, takes up arms against ruthless King John and his treacherous henchman, unifies Albion against a French invasion and, as if that weren't enough, is mainly responsible for drawing up the Magna Carta. (Except that the king refuses to sign the darned thing, so where does that leave England now?)
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6 comments:

Julygirl said...

Interesting review. I have not seen it so can't comment, but all the reviews I have read have been positive ones. I am not a fan of Ridley Scott or Russell Crowe, even in Crow's aclaimed films such as Master and Commander. I only liked "Gladiator". I think he is a cold actor that does not impart life or complexity to his characters, but I realize I am in the minority on this.

Brantigny said...

I saw this potboiler this weekend, and only work has claimed my time which I would use to decry this masterpiece of historical inaccuracy from the fertile mind of Ridley Scott. Scott once again plays fast and loose with history just as he did in Kingdom of Heaven. In this climate of scholarly laziness I am sure it will replace a text or two in European History departments. The trouble is that people believe that this is history!

Cate Blanchet in a scene only reminiscent of Eowyn's riding in the Roherin with a hobbit on her lap to kill the Ring Wraith, charges the French with her orphans on ponies under the cliffs of dover as the landing barges (looking more like D-day landing craft) disgorge troops.

An epic no. An epic waste of time yes.

My favorite version remains the 1939 film. That is why it is a classic.

xavier said...

Maria Elena:

I haven't seen the movie but I sympathize very much with Steven's complaint about how directors like Scott obsess about the cruelty and coarseness of medieval life without even bothering to acknowledge its saving graces.

Sure life was tough but the Middeel ages also prodced the Livre d'heures du Duc de Berry, the cathedrals, the hospitals, the universities and the monastical orders dedicated to both.

The festes majors that Euroepans still celebrate come from the medieval periods. Why is ther shuch an obession to be so joyless and coarse about adventure stories.
I wouldn't want Scott to touch the Chanson de Roland

xavier

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks to you all for your feedback. Richard, I agree, totally. Xavier, you are so right and it is ultimately a hatred of Christian culture.

Theodore Harvey said...

I was going to see this in the theatre but may reconsider after reading this. I must say though that I was pleased with Russell Crowe's support for the Australian Crown in real life, as I reported at my own blog.

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

I thought I would have enjoyed the latest King Arthur, with Romans in England and Guinevere a Pict. Some extracts on youtube cured me of the illusion: the part 1 ended in open injury by a high-way-man of a Roman-British Christian beaten for being a Christian and praying.