In 13th century England, Robin “Hood” Longstride (Russell Crow) and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power. And whether thief or hero, one man from humble beginnings will become an eternal symbol of freedom for his people. “Robin Hood” chronicles the life of an expert archer from his service in King Richard’s army in the crusade to Richard’s death. Robin travels to Nottingham after assuming the identity of a dead knight. Nottingham suffers from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation. Here he meets Lady Marian (Cate Blanchett). With their country weakened from decades of war, embattled from the ineffective rule of the new king and vulnerable to insurgencies from within and threats from afar, Robin and his men heed a call to ever greater adventure. This unlikeliest of heroes and his allies set off to protect their country from slipping into bloody civil war. Directed by Ridley Scott (Gladiator).
Rating: 7 out of 10
This is not your grandpa’s Errol Flynn, swashbuckler in green tights. In some ways, it should have been a little more of that romantic, idealized character.
Instead, we’re given a very gritty Robin Hood who steals the identity of a dead knight, assumes his role as husband and son, and stumbles into heroism rather than a planned, gallant effort. We’re given the origin story of a soldier-for-hire, working his way through the crusades for King Richard (Danny Huston) as an archer. We’re given a little too much violence, which is odd for me to say because it normally doesn’t bother me, but there are a lot of battle scenes that get in the way of this picture and slow the story down.
The back story of Longstride is nicely woven into the story, and Crow gives a solid performance in a physically demanding role. This film has a great cast with Max von Sydow and Blanchett in strong supporting roles, and Oscar Isaac is delightful as the villainous Prince John. But the movie is bogged down by too much action and moves slowly at times. It’s 140 minutes long, and I’d bet that a good half is fighting which could have been cut way back and, streamlining the picture.
Check out the trailer for the Errol Flynn Robin Hood here: