19/05/2010

RIDLEY SCOTT' S ROBIN HOOD , THE WARRIOR : HALF GLADIATOR, HALF CHARMER


I do not have time to write a long detailed review and I’m sorry for that. But , maybe, it is better this way. I do not have much to say about this movie which I saw at the weekend.




Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe’s ROBIN HOOD has recently opened 2010 Cannes Festival, but would a movie like this ever won a film festival? What I’m sure of is that it has been filling in theaters and will go on for a while doing that. I didn’t read many enthusiastic reviews, though… but the few positive ones convinced me I had to give it a try. It is definitely different from any ROBIN HOOD I had seen so far. But is this a merit?


The story is briefly told. Robin Longstride, skillful archer in the service of Richard the Lionheart during his ten-year-long Crusade, now on his way home , predating from time to time French castles, is only interested in glory and saving his life. His ambition changes once King Richard dies in a battle and he is back to England. He finds himself replacing Sir Robert Loxley, who died in an ambush. Under false pretences he gets to Nottingham county, oppressed by King John’s taxes and the Church’s greed.


In Nottingham he meets Lady Marian, Sir Robert Loxley’s widow ( an excellent Cate Blanchett), extremely sceptical to the real intentions of the man. Thanks to his efforts to obtain Lady Marian’s trust, he becomes a favourite of the people in the county. Everything , in the end,  will be decided by an epic final battle on the white Dover cliffs but the story ends where it used to start: Robin and his men become outlaws in Sherwood Forest.



I loved this more mature version of lady Marian who is as strong as a man at fighting, a very strong-willed, brave, charming lady.
Obviously, there is a Sheriff in Nottingham, a barely recognizable Matthew McFadyen (Mr Darcy 2005 ) but he is, unexpectedly, a rather marginal presence in the story. The real evil soul is Sir Godfrey. He ravages the kingdom with his raids (Mark Strong). The wicked nobleman is engaged in a debt collection activity on behalf of the unpopular King John. (Where is my Guy of Gisborne? I missed him so much!) and plots with Philip King of France, England’s worst enemy.

(Mr Darcy playing the evil guy)

(Mr Thornton playing the evil Guy)

The intention is that of creating a tougher, more verosimile and less romantic portrait of the legendary outlaw. The film is quite long (too long?) , well highlighted by a good soundtrack, rather dark and gloomy - mainly greenish - but can you believe it? I found it a bit boring (quite boring?)


Have you seen it? Did you like it? I really hope so. It’s so frustrating to go to the cinema, watch a movie you’ve long expected and feel you are … something like … performing a duty, a task, instead of simply enjoying it!

Sorry for being so blunt!

I just wanted to close with a positive remark: I loved Mr Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind” and if I have to choose one of his movies directed by Ridley Scott I’d choose … “A Good Year” : lovely, romantic , existentialist.

11 comments:

lunarossa said...

Hi MG, I've read mixed reviews about this film and haven't decided whether to go and see it or not. I do like Russell Crowe as an actor very much and I think he plays his roles beautifully. Loved Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, A Good Year, Master and Commander, etc. but I'm not sure he can play a convincing Robin Hood. There are many dashing British actors and I wonder why they have always to choose "foreigners" to play an English legend....Ciao. A.

M. Gray said...

Wow! I wouldn't have expected boring! Too bad. I'll have to see how I like it, too, since it's one my husband will watch with me.

JaneGS said...

Well, I am not a fan of Russell Crowe (although I would like to see Beautiful Mind), and your description of the movie is pretty much how I envisioned it.

Good review, btw. I find it's harder to write a critical review because you want to be fair but with a rave you can simply gush.

And Robin without Guy? Maybe that was a blessing, as now you don't have competing images for Guy :)

phylly3 said...

Funny, but I'm relieved that you didn't like it, because I am certainly prepared not to like it! (That may mean that I end up liking it however).
If you can follow my logic?
I can see Mark Strong would make a good baddie, but why Matthew McFayden as the Sheriff. That just seems wrong! He must be trying not to get typecast.
Are there too many battle scenes? Because I always fall asleep during battle scenes. I have slept through Braveheart 3 times! LOL
Was the romance any good? That would be my ONLY reason to watch this!

Ruth said...

Maria, I am so sorry that Robin Hood was more of a chore to view than an entertainment. But I do feel for you as I've been there myself with different filmsat one time or another. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Katherine said...

I remember when I first saw Matthew McFadyen cast as the Sheriff of Nottingham thinking Mr. Clennham is too sweet to play such a character! ;) But I can understand his wanting variety in his career as an actor.

I hadn't planned to see this film and after your review I definitely will not. From the trailer, it seemed like it had too many battles, raids, etc. Thank you for the honest review!

Theresa N. said...

I liked him in A Good Year but I don't have any interest in seeing him as Robin Hood.

Luciana said...

I thought I wasn't going to like it at all and ended up loving it. I truly liked the fact they kept with British history as it really was, or at least closer to the truth. And I have no idea why they changed Sir Guy for Sir Godfrey. Mark Strong himself said Godfrey was based on Guy and he didn't know why they changed his name.

Ana T. said...

Hi Maria Grazia, after having watched the movie I can only agree with you. I wrote a review with Alex for Lights and we were both of the same opinion. ;-)

Judy said...

I'm interested to see this as I'll be going to see it with my husband and son soon - must admit I have my doubts about whether I will like it much, especially after reading your thoughts, Maria, but I will still give it a look.:)

Vesper Meikle said...

Loved this film. As nothing is really known about Robin Hood everybody can put their own interpretation on the 'facts'. Did a Guy Gisborne really exist and interact with Robin no one knows. Did Robin steal from the rich and give to the poor, there are no facts to support this. There are just no historical facts about Robin Hood