By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Universal Pictures
The first official reviews have begun to surface for Robin Hood and they (sadly) confirm some of the buzz reported in months ago.
Robin Hood Reviews
But don't let me start having you assume that the reviews are bad. It's just that this tale of Robin Hood may be a bit too serious for its own good. Don't understand? Well, check out a couple snippets to see what I mean.
Variety "Can you not sing a happy tune?" growls a not-so-merry man in "Robin Hood," and one might direct the same question at Ridley Scott's grimly revisionist take on England's most famous outlaw. Impressively made and serious-minded to a fault, this physically imposing picture brings abundant political-historical dimensions to its epic canvas, yet often seems devoted to stifling whatever pleasure audiences may have derived from the popular legend. With a brawny Russell Crowe in the title role, pic looks to hit its B.O. target in most markets, though overall muted reactions may hold Universal back from a king's ransom Stateside.
Bottom Line: This rousing "prequel" to the familiar Robin Hood tale strains to appeal to too many demographics.
In the new "Robin Hood," Russell Crowe's iconic medieval hero wears no tights, shows little interest in redistribution of wealth, scarcely bothers with the Sheriff of Nottingham, fights alongside Maid -- sorry, Lady Marion and all but forces King John to sign the Magna Carta. In other words, director Ridley Scott and his producers were so determined this would not be your father's Robin Hood that a checklist of familiar incidents and legendary exploits to avoid must have been handed to writers Brian Helgeland (story and screenplay), Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris (story).
The result is less a Robin Hood story than an epic action movie that sees Crowe at the center of English history at the turn of the 13th century. It's "Gladiator" in Sherwood Forest -- only, for God's sake, don't mention Sherwood Forest either.
See what I'm saying? These reviews aren't necessarily bad, but they do have a tone of disappointment. Check out the full reviews by clicking the bold links above.