By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures
I’m totally down for Ridley Scott just abandoning all pretense and making a straight up action movie. He’s good at the big battles and it would just be fun. Too bad there’s so much plot in Robin Hood.
Review: Robin Hood
By now, Scott is kind of storming castles without passion. There’s no cool hook to the strategy. It’s just another one. There’s a lot of arrows and big fire. That’s worth $10. The idea that festivities occur while the battle rages on in the background is cool. We never see the actual length of battle portrayed. It’s just a big fight and onto the next scene. That’s not how battles really get fought. It would be better if they just stick to this stuff. They always try to be more important.
If you strip Robin Hood of any fantasy and swashbuckling, it’s just like everything else. Redoing Batman or James Bond put those franchises in a new context. There’s no new context to historical epic battle movies. It is high production value though. I do believe it’s 1199 A.D. That’s something we take for granted, that any movie actually can just look like that.
There’s bravado and brawling. They talk about honor a la 300. Robin makes a big Braveheart speech to rally the crowd to arms. Of course Marian has to fight now too because women always fight in movies now and this is like everything else. Remember when that was new? It was actually a big deal when it started happening. Now it’s another cliché.
You see the hallmarks of Robin Hood stories scattered throughout the generic plot. He ends up in stockades briefly, he gathers all his merry men, romancing Marian, blah blah blah. At least they go through the process of taking off the chainmail. That addresses a practical matter we never see on screen. Too bad there’s still so much plot still.
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