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May 18, 2010 > Movie Review: Robin Hood

Movie Review: Robin Hood

A disjointed experience

By Joe Samagond

Director Ridley Scott has, so far, created great movies such as Gladiator, American Gangster and Black Hawk Down. His rendition of Robin Hood (2010) is however, a disappointment. It is an old-fashioned adventure epic, with state-of-the-art special effects, supported weakly by a mild romantic farce, but weighed down by overly simplistic dialogues. Instead of robbing from the rich to give to the poor, this Robin Hood preaches about "liberty" and the rights of the individual as he wanders the English countryside.

King Richard the Lionheart (Danny Huston) journeys back to England from the Crusades. Robin Hood and his small team, Allan (Alan Doyle) and Will (Scott Grimes), joins King Richard and his army. When the king dies, Robin and his team go on a mission to England to deliver the news of his death with the crown in hand. Soon enough, Robin becomes romantically involved with Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett), widow of the fallen knight. Prince John (Oscar Isaac) becomes the new king and rules tyrannically over his people while his friend, Godfrey (Mark Strong), secretly conspires with the King of France in an attempt to weaken England during an impending battle with the French. Russell Crowe plays the title character, whose chief skill seems to be his ability to mobilize commoners with empty, anti-government rhetoric.

Brian Helgeland screenplay jumps around from one dramatic scene to another with no regard for developing any of its characters, especially the main one. If you are familiar with Robin Hood folklore, much of this story will either surprise or disappoint, sometimes both.

The movie seemingly seeks to wow through impact-loud soundtrack with a relentless and meaningless cadence. Battle scenes are choreographed for total sensory satisfaction and are impressive at times. At a running time of over 2 hours, Robin Hood is too long, convoluted and mostly underwhelming despite great story potential, solid performances, rousing action sequences and impressive production values. Unfortunately, it suffers from a case of excessive style over substance... very unconvincing.

Rated: PG-13 (violence including intense sequences of warfare, and sexual content)
Runtime: 2 hour 20 minutes

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