The story of Robin Hood has been told many times on the big screen, with the likes of Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner and an animated Disney fox playing the title role. There isn’t any “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor” in this latest version, because it’s a “prequel” to the story that we all know.
Russell Crowe stars as Robin Hood, and, just to be clear, he’s not related to “Little Red Riding Hood”, though that would have made for a better movie.
There may be more action/battle/fighting scenes in this movie than in any film I’ve seen and you’ve ever seen. The movie is set in 12th century England, and begins with Robin fighting on the side of King Richard. That king gets killed and so Robin then fights against the new king, King John. Or is it the other way around? Then England gets attacked by France and so Robin fights against the French.
All of it is rather confusing, and even though some of the story is based on history, no one knows if there was ever a REAL Robin Hood, so all of his story is made up. And since it’s a “prequel” you know what’s going to happen at the end, because if any of the main characters die, there couldn’t be the other Robin Hood story.
As you can probably tell, I don’t like this movie very much. There’s too much action, it’s 2 hours and 20 minutes long, it’s way too serious and outside of the fighting scenes there’s not much going on. Lady Marion, who’s played by Cate Blanchett, says a few times that she’s hoping for a miracle. I was too the night I saw it in the theater: that, somehow, Disney’s 1973 animated version would, magically, start playing on the screen.
The only funny part in the film wasn’t even supposed to be funny: during one of the battle scenes an older woman approaches a group of soldiers on the roof of a castle with a big bucket and says, “time for soup”. She wants to feed them lunch while they’re being attacked and getting shot with arrows. Hysterical.
The performances aren’t anything to get excited about. Crowe, 10-years after “Gladiator”, proves he can still swing a sword. Blanchett gets into the action a bit. William Hurt has a small, supporting role. And Mark Strong, who was terrific as the villain in “Sherlock Holmes”, plays a bad guy again, but with all the fighting no one has any time to act.
“Robin Hood” is rated PG-13 for the intense and non-stop action violence. Older kids may want to see it, but they won’t enjoy it because it’s too serious, too long, and there’s nothing special about any of the fighting scenes. Plus, at times, the movie is pretty dull.
I decree, by the power of King LCJ, that on his Official Kid Critic Report Card, “Robin Hood” gets a D+.
Be prepared, if you buy the DVD or Blu-ray, to feel like you got robbed, but your money won’t be going to the poor, it’s going straight to Hollywood.