There are few directors nowadays who approach a movie with an artistic vision or visual style. Ridley Scott is one of those few. Although, his style is not obvious up on screen like some filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick, Paul Thomas Anderson, M. Night Shyamalan, Robert Altman, Orson Welles, and more. But Scott has succeeded in painting a picture for his newest epic, “Robin Hood”, starring Academy Award winner Russell Crowe (as the lead), Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (as Lady Marian), Academy Award winner William Hurt, Mark Strong, and Academy Award nominee Max Von Sydow. The story follows Robin Longstride and his journey to becoming Robin of the Hood. (Running Time: 150 minutes)(Rating: PG-13)
The film was written by one of the greatest screenwriters of our time, Brian Helgeland, who has written such films like “Conspiracy Theory”, “A Knight’s Tale”, “Mystic River”, “The Bourne Supremacy”, and many others. Robin Hood is written quite well, I think, from a fellow writer’s point of view. The story is unlike any other Robin Hood one, so in seeing the film, you have to think with an open mind. It did yet at the same time, it didn’t follow the classic story of Robin Hood living in the woods with his merry men and there was the evil Prince John making taxation with the help of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Instead, it veered in a different direction and showed the audience a more…”realistic” Robin Hood. Or to put it better: a more “historic” Robin Hood, with that “historic” accuracy. All in all, a very well written epic!
All the actors were cast quite well. It was obvious when “Robin Hood” was in the making a few years ago, that Ridley Scott naturally approached Russell Crowe, who had worked with Scott on three other films. Russell Crowe is a very talented actor, and has to be high up there on my list of great actors. In this film, he plays his part quite well, and honestly, there is no more to be said over that part. Cate Blanchett performed Lady Marian as a headstrong, do-it-yourself woman very well. Blanchett appeared as though she pulled the role off with ease, and enjoyed it very much at the same time. All the supporting cast played believable parts that sometimes the audience could relate to and feel for. This movie was well played on casting, and well-done on acting.
I sorta understand now why “Robin Hood” did not appeal to critics. They were expecting the classic Robin Hood of Nottingham, maybe with pointy boots and a cute bow and arrow–the only difference with this one was it was directed by Ridley Scott, it was a tad bit “darker” then any other Robin Hood movie, and it stared Russell Crowe. They judged way too soon, I should think. The film met with mixed reviews from critics, and especially some anger from British critics because of Russell Crowe’s accent in the film. Quentin Tarantino (director of “Pulp Fiction”, “Jackie Brown”, “Kill Bill”, and “Inglorious Basterds”) listed it as one of his top twenty favorite films of 2010.
The film was a slight box office success. On its opening weekend, next to “Iron Man 2”, it gained an estimate $37 million. It went on to make $105 million in the US and Canada (which the studio considered a flop), but brought in $321 million from around the world, which is not too shavy from being on a $155 million budget.
I admit, I saw this twice while it was in theaters last year. It was good enough to do that! In the end, I’d give this 5 stars out of 7. I appreciate what the filmmakers were trying to get across to the audience, and I respect them for spending all that time and effort on making a true epic that not many of us see nowadays in cinemas.
A friend of mine and I talked about the film sometime last year, and he said he didn’t like it. He stated he went in expecting “Gladiator” (which Ridley Scott directs and Russell Crowe stars in), and came out disappointed; saying it wasn’t epic-enough. So I say to you: don’t go in expecting Gladiator, or Lord of the Rings, or any of those! Just watch it with an open mind, and with a good mood.
You ought to see this movie if you haven’t. It ain’t half bad! (smile with a wink)