Have you ever watched a movie, and wondered, what the hell was the director thinking? Well, during the entire viewing of “Robin Hood” this was the very question that ran through my mind. What’s even more perplexing is that this movie was made by a director who tremendously helped shift the landscape of Science fiction films with the complex and thought provoking “Blade Runner”. Here’s a director who brought respectability and seriousness to an otherwise perceived “B” rated genre in “Aliens”. Here’s a guy who gave us goosebumps with an Oscar’s best picture about a pheasant who stood toe to toe defying arguably the most powerful king on the planet in “Gladiator”.
Yet, in “Robin Hood“, I was sitting there confused, bored, and in disbelief at how bad the movie was and at the lack of direction about where the movie was heading. Scott threw fighting scenes after fighting scenes in hopes that we won’t bother to even care if there was actually a worthy plot. As a matter of fact, it felt like I wasn’t even watching a movie about Robin Hood. Yes, Scott took the essence and spirit of Robin Hood out and completely turned it into something utterly mindless and generic. Where is the cunning and empathetic Robin Hood who uses his skills and cunning ways to deceive and frustrate the King in order to provide for the poor? Where is the charm and valor in Robin Hood who is beloved by the people and reviled by the Crown?
Yes, I know it’s a prequel, but at least give us a good peice of Robin Hood as we know him to be; the Robin Hood we come to love and know. The Robin Hood that roamed around confidently through Sherwood Forest causing havoc for the greedy bourgeoisie.
The entire time, I actually felt bad for Cate Blachett and Russell Crowe, despite the fact that they’re gazillion times richer than I am and, no doubt, smells much better.
You can almost sense these two great actors were forced to do what they must because of their contractual agreement. It’s like having to eat your girlfriend’s bad cooking and act like it’s the best thing in the world.
The movie started off with a lot of movement, action and forced clichéd jokes. Halfway into the movie, you question if Ridley Scott actually has a plot to this or is he going to keep showing us swordplay and flying arrows? Unfortunately it was the latter. After a while, swinging swords and flying arrows got quite old. As if these redundancies were not enough, I counted four nights of drunken debauchery and dancing from Robin Hood and his Merrie Men. Yeah that’s right, Scott wanted to make sure we know how Robin Hood and his crew got down every night after a hard day’s work.
The King’s right hand man turned henchman, slaughtered villages after villages in his name. The henchman, a conspirator with the French, is actually sent by the French King to create chaos and civil strife within England; to weaken England for an attack. In need of a renewed image, the King was forced to align with the nobles and Robin Hood in order to gain back the favor of England. He joined forces with the nobles and even clumsily and admirably fought alongside Robin Hood. After England thwarted off France’s attack, Robin Hood is perceived as a hero by the people. The next scene confused the hell out of me. The King suddenly declares him, “an outlaaaawwwwww” with one unexpected and confusing over-acting scene. And, thus, the lore of Robin Hood has arrived.
Just like that, a man who admirably saved Enlgand’s neck, is declared an outlaw and subject to the severest of penalty if caught.
You would think, if any director who should know better about the diffulties a king may have when it comes to banishing the people’s hero, it’s Ridley Scott as he directed Gladiator. There was no fight or fear of uproar by the people from the King once he declares Robin an outlaw. It was just that. End of question and end of the movie.
Sadly, Ridley Scott has lost his touch. This was a movie that seemed like it was made by a director who’s still trying to find his way, not one of a Ridley Scott’s caliber.
In Robin Hood, Ridley Scott did not give the people anything. In fact he robbed us. He took our Robin Hood away for what seems like a never ending 2.5 hours.
To bring back Robin Hood, I’ll need to pop in “Prince of Theives” or “The Adventures of Robin Hood”. I really need to get this new Robin Hood out of my head.