Friday, May 25, 2012

Movie Review: Robin Hood (2010)

I think most of us are familiar with the Robin Hood story because of the Disney movie of the same name, though there are several other portrayals of the legend that I have experienced, including Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe, T. H. White's novel The Sword in the Stone, and Errol Flynn's film The Adventures of Robin Hood.[1] This is more like a prequel to the Robin Hood story. But it's also kind of a remake of Gladiator: it has Russell Crowe in the lead, it was directed by Ridley Scott, the actor who plays Prince John is quite similar to Joaquin Phoenix, and I suspect that if Richard Harris hadn't died, he would've been cast as Richard the Lionheart.

My verdict: Despite its flaws and revisionism [2], I enjoyed this movie. Most of the characters were simply functional but I did like Lady Marian (though I have serious doubts that a woman would be so skilled in archery in the 1200s) and Friar Tuck. Little John was an okay character (I liked him better than Robin), but the actor looked like he'd just had his wisdom teeth extracted—Kevin Durand's cheeks usually aren't that swollen. The only characters I didn't really like were the Lost Boys—I mean, the orphans in the forest. I don't feel like they contributed anything to the story, especially the opening scene (which was only confusing and made no sense). There were also two things in the final battle on the beach that were unnecessary: Robin and Marian making out (yes, they're really making out in the middle of a pitched battle) and Godfrey's weird grimace after he'd been shot through the throat with an arrow. Other than that I liked the movie fine.


[1] I also saw Kevin Kostner's film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves for a class party in fifth grade, but I remember nothing about it so I don't claim it here.

[2] For example, Richard the Lionheart was shot in the arm with a crossbow by a young boy during the siege of Chalus-Chabrol. The wound became gangrenous and he eventually died. He was not, like the film depicts, ambushed in a forest and assassinated by the fictional Sir Godfrey. See I of England#Later years and death.

Image attributions:

Bluebells in an English Forest are by Keith Hulbert and Paul Zarucki, available at 

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