Movie review: Epic 'Robin Hood' has new superhero
Robin Hood is a straight-arrow myth for all seasons.
Depending on your age and taste in movies, you might imagine him as the silently swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, the Technicolor Errol Flynn, an animated Disney fox, a gnarled and aging Sean Connery, jolly Cary Elwes for comic relief, Kevin Costner with an American drawl or any of a dozen incarnations of the folk legend so thoroughly promulgated in literature and cinema.
Add now a brooding, muscular Russell Crowe who brings a gladiator-like scowl and swagger to director Ridley Scott’s gritty new “Robin Hood,” an epic prequel that imagines how an obscure Saxon archer in Richard the Lionheart’s army might have become one of folklore’s most enduring superheroes.
There are no green tights or bands of merry men cavorting around Sherwood Forest in this version, scripted with supple imagination, shadowy innuendo, flourishes of earthy humor and loads of thudding, brutish, in-your-face combat scenes by Brian Helgeland (“L.A. Confidential”).
Rather in its sweeping scope, its grimy, realistic grandeur and its idealistic narrative thrust, Scott’s film owes a debt to his own bloody Roman epic, “Gladiator,” and to Mel Gibson’s rousing, Scottish independence cry, “Braveheart.”
The narrative sets off as weary King Richard (Danny Huston) is pillaging across France on the way home from the gory Third Crusade. Among his ragged army is a yeoman archer named Robin Longstride (Crowe), whose trio of pals (Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes and Alan Doyle) form the core of the future merry men.
Through a series of complex plot turns, Robin eventually finds himself traveling to Nottingham to return a fallen nobleman’s sword to his kin. There, he comes under the wizened tutelage of Sir Walter Loxley (a grand Max von Sydow), the dead nobleman’s father, and succumbs to the no-nonsense allure of the nobleman’s widow, Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett).
Meanwhile, lots of royal court conniving is going on elsewhere as the callow Prince John (Oscar Isaac) defies his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine (Eilene Atkins), takes a French mistress, assumes the throne and orders onerous new taxes across the land, and as the dastardly Sir Godfrey (Mark Strong) schemes with the French King Philip to foment rebellion in the north and set up an invasion from the south by the French army.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 15991OKC Central: Architectural "Worsts"
- 14570Oklahoma storms: Profile of Life: Megan and Case Futrell
- 9562Oklahoma baseball: Joe Simpson 'thrilled' that Sunny Golloway left OU
- 9374Was Special Treatment Given in Oklahoma Vice Mayor DUI Traffic Stop?
- 9102'Firehouse' in Oklahoma City's Deep Deuce is set to become new home
- 8275Classen School of Advanced Studies valedictorian disappears while hiking with family in Ecuador
- 7661Live blog: "The Voice" Season 4 live finale
- 7564Norman man threatens Oklahoma Gov. Fallin's 'child' and local sheriff in emails
- 7457Two teacher programs at Oklahoma universities called ineffective
- 7060Red meat might be delicious, but not as nutritious
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients