I finally got around to seeing the new Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe, directed by Ridley Scott. I thought it was somewhat entertaining, nothing mind-blowing by any means. It doesn’t come close to competing with some of Scott’s other films, especially Gladiator. The battle scenes have the same feel as his other movies (see Kingdom of Heaven), and if you’re looking for historical accuracy, you won’t find it in this film. There are true historical characters mixed in with references to real events (e.g. – Magna Carta), but I wouldn’t go into this movie trying to learn much about the actual history during that period. The story of Robin Hood is based widely on legend and myth anyway, so I would view it from a pure entertainment perspective.
One detail I will point to of historical inaccuracy comes with the death of Richard the Lionheart. King Richard was actually killed simply walking around the castle of Chalus-Chabrol without his mail armor on. He was investigating the progress of the sappers attempting to undermine the castle walls, and a defender shot an arrow, which struck him in the left shoulder near the neck. He died nearly two weeks later on April 6, 1199. So he was not actually killed in battle as the movie depicts, but dying in battle presents a much more entertaining scene from a cinema perspective.
I did find it interesting how the film showed Robin Hood (aka Robin Longstride) before he actually became an outlaw. This was different from the usual story line we already know. I did like that, though other well-known characters such as the Sheriff of Nottingham are reduced to secondary, almost non-existent roles. It’s hard to beat Alan Rickman’s performance as the sheriff in the Kevin Costner version of the movie. Classic bad-guy Rickman. Good stuff. The movie with Costner was actually one of the things that spurred my interest in the medieval period from an early age.
In Scott’s version of the tale, I never felt that attached to any of the characters, except Marian. Cate Blanchett, as always, does a wonderful job in that role. Crowe is okay as Robin Hood. His accent is much better than Costner’s, but something about him doesn’t scream Robin Hood to me. Not sure what it is.
All in all, the movie is worth watching for pure entertainment purposes. It won’t leave you in awe by any means, though I probably would watch it again just to catch some of the details I missed the first time. I was watching with a group, so I wasn’t able to hear everything. I give the movie a passing grade.
Below are a few links to other reviews I thought were good: