RvReview: Robin Hood

Is Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood with Russell Crowe as good as Disney’s Robin Hood with a talking fox? Ross McG went along to find out. Here’s his spoiler-free review.

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: no one calls off Christmas and Little John is not a cuddly animated bear. Despite these apparently chronic failings, Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood is exciting stuff. It is not without its minor faults – Russell Crowe’s accent is all over the place, for one (at least Kevin Costner’s was consistently American) – but on the whole it provides exactly what it should: good, old-fashioned rip-roaring entertainment.

Crowe may not be able to speak Brummie or whatever brogue it is he is attempting, but there is no man alive as talented as he is when it comes to catching various weapons thrown to him while he’s riding a horse. And in this type of film, that’s all that really matters.

Basically an updated version of Russell Crowe Fightin’ Around The World, this Robin Hood takes the famous hero from France and then on to England. Like many, I wondered beforehand why there needed to be another version of the legend but Scott has brought a freshness to the tale with plenty of new elements. We spend the first half of the film – which rattles along at a cracking pace – with Robin in France. It’s a good hour before he gets to Nottingham, where things turn a little bit Sommersby as he meets Cate Blanchett’s feisty – but not stereotypically feisty – Marian.

Few directors do action as well as Scott and he’s created a thrilling Boy’s Own adventure. Not since the first and best of the Lord Of The Rings movies has there been so much man-hugging and camaraderie on the big screen. Rob’s merry men are a gang you would love to go to archery lessons with. The obligatory bad guys are also memorable. Mark Strong’s sneaky Sir Godfrey is as dastardly as his name sounds and Oscar Isaac channels the cowardly lion from the Disney version very well as Prince John. Oh, and make sure you stay to watch the fantastic animated end credits. It’s also one of the few historical epics to portray the English as (kind of) the good guys. The whole thing made me proud to be English. And I’m not even English…

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22 Responses to “RvReview: Robin Hood”

  1. I’m totally left cold by this film. I just don’t really get what it is supposed to be. Looks to me like someone crossed Gladiator and Braveheart and came up with a film that was basically the same as both. I keep hearing that it’s supposed to be more about the “real” man than the legend, but where’s the fun in that? The fact that the “real” Robin Hood doesn’t exist puts a major downer on it before you start, and then all that’s left is the opening crusades bit from Kevin Costner’s movie.

    I have no will to see this movie. Which is completely unlike me, since I’m usually very over excited by films where grubby men risde around on horses killing eachother.

  2. Glad you had good words, I am anticipating this even hough early word seems generally mixed, but oh well – I don’t mind.

    There needed to be an updated one so Cate could be in it.

  3. Cool, well at least you seem more excited about it than I am. I thought that, for a Robin Hood film, it was far too focused on the whole “international politics” angle – it’s a British legend, not medieval 24!

  4. Good point Katie! Bring back Errol Flynn/Kevin Costner/That Fox!
    As much as Crowe seems like a dick in real life, I will go see this, as I like him in everything – especially Fightin’ Around the World.
    Had tix to the Irish Premiere last night but couldnt get out of work in time, so I gave em to my mam. She said she enjoyed it, but that everyone else thought it was rubbish.

  5. Ebert was pretty “meh” about it in his review today. I’m still looking forward to it though – can’t get enough of Crowe on screen. Also wish I was organised enough to get me in to the premier showings like McG!!!

  6. Will be seeing this soon. It got a glowing review in The Guardian. Good to hear more positive things here too.

  7. Still not sure about this one, but that picture of Russ up there is hilarious.

  8. Para… once again you guys mistake me for someone with connections
    just went on opening day, dude

  9. I wanted to see it, until I heard about the PG-13 rating. And to be honest, there’s nothing fun about that, cause the action can’t be as bloody or in-your-face, like Gladiator, or Braveheart for that matter.

  10. am I the only one here who doesn’t love Russell Crowe?

  11. “The whole thing made me proud to be English. And I’m not even English…” – Haha, will have to check it out.

    I’m seeing this tomorrow and am glad I read your review which didn’t reveal to much for me and ruin anything. I’ll be sure to drop back in after I see it and let you know what I think.

  12. thought so.
    Is this a bromance thing? Am I missing something? I just don’t get it. I think he’s the reason I don’t like Gladiator….

    ….awaits tsunami of criticism….

  13. Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott have my vote for anything. I’m going to try my best to see it this weekend.

  14. Finally a positive review of Robin Hood! If Scott is involved and Cate Blanchett is in it, it can’t go too wrong! Looking forward to hearing the inconsistent accent 🙂

  15. Katie: What’s wrong with you?

    I know the reviews have been middling but I’m looking forward to this. Will see it on Sunday or Monday. Glad to see you liked it!

  16. I finished my review earlier and will be publishing it tomorrow. I found the movie to have a lot of flaws mainly in the pacing but overall I actually really enjoyed it.

    As for the accent “Crowe may not be able to speak Brummie or whatever brogue it is he is attempting” I’m sure I heard some Irish and Geordie in there but certainly no midlands! Everyone knows Robin Hood is actually from Southern California. And onto the English part, the “English” at the time were Saxon (German) and Richard and the rest of the ruling class were Norman (French decedents of Scandinavian invaders).

    By the way Katie, I loved Gladiator when I saw it ten years ago but doing think it has aged well now the hype has died down. It is a good film but not a great one so I am half with you there. Scott’s Kingdom Of Heaven on the other hand gets better every time I see it.

  17. I’m actually a bit surprised when CMrok93 mentioned this is PG-13 Stateside. It isn’t quite as visual as Gladiator is at moments, but I don’t think it’s massively less violent.

  18. LOVE that pic of Crowe, it’s like Robin Hood meets Top Gun! You’re asking for it Katie, so again, what is wrong with you?? 🙂 Funny how you pretty much have the opposite views with the Rosses in terms of Iron Man 2. I haven’t seen either of them yet, but still excited to see both. Like Roisin said, Crowe + Blanchett plus Mark Strong can’t be all bad!

    Ross, you’re not English? So what are you mate? 🙂

  19. rtm, she has the opposite view of the Ross, singular! the other Ross completely agrees with her, I loved this film!
    Btw I’m Irish, he’s Northern Irish.

  20. crap. thanks for ruining the mystery, McD.
    makes a change from you ruining everything, i suppose

  21. Me and Ross McD are like that *crosses fingers together to show together-ness of mindset* Ross McG on the other hand….
    As for Crowe, I just see no attraction. He’s not good looking, or particularly talented. I’m going to find an angry mob outside nwo aren’t I?

    How come I already knew you guys were Irish? Did I get that from somewhere on your site or am i stalking you subconsciously?

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