Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Mark Strong
Directed by: Ridley Scott
An adaptation of the legendary tale of Robin Hood and his band of marauders. In the 12th century after returning to England after nearly 10 years of battling on King Richards crusade he settles in Nottingham but is unable to watch on as the crown oppresses the regular folk as corruption threatens to tear England apart.
I’m a huge fan of anything that’s set in the historical British setting whether it’s true story or fiction I just really enjoy the way these movies look and the depiction of how people used to live always fascinates me when I compare how we live our lives in present day. I find myself watching these kinds of movies or TV shows and I always find myself looking and watching how people have lived in history and then think of the luxury day to day items that I and everybody else take for granted. While I absolutely loved the Disney animated version of Robin Hood, all the other renditions that I’ve seen have been a little disappointing. I was hoping that Ridley Scott along with the superb cast that had been assembled would produce something special although there is an incredible amount of hate aimed towards this movie in the IMDb reviews section so I was a little bit on the fence with what to expect.
Russell Crowe had been chosen to star as Robin of he Hood/Robin Longstride and one of the things that I enjoyed about this depiction of the Robin Hood story was that it focused more on the man behind the myth as opposed to the usual routine of stealing from the rich to give to the poor story. While that was still woven into the story, it wasn’t the main or even secondary focus as the writers decided to focus on the hardened soldier who doesn’t know where he came from or where to go once he leaves France. I thought Russell Crowe did a fantastic job at portraying Robin Hood and although his accent work was a little questionable at times he really drew you into the story and makes you care about both his character and what his characters stands for. Cate Blanchett was chosen to play Marion Loxley and she was equally as great as Russell Crowe as both shared fantastic chemistry which enabled them to tell their story with such an emotional connection with each other. Robin Hood then boasted a glorious cast full of stars which all delivered with wonderful performances. Actors such as Max Von Syndow, William Hurt, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston, Mark Addy, Kevin Durand and the ever impressive Mark Strong all came together and produced a glorious performance from a wonderfully casted ensemble.
There’s something about Mark Strong that he’s able to play a villainous character so well and he’s really been impressive throughout his career at diversifying himself by mastering the art of playing villain and hero. Here in Robin Hood he plays Prince John’s loyal advisor Godfrey who has ulterior motives when it comes to protecting the crown of England. He’s by definition a snake as he plots with King Philip of France an invasion of England which seems to be going to plan until he comes across Robin Hood and his band of marauders. The way Mark Strong looks and delivers his lines was great as he really immersed himself into the role of Godfrey. The cinematography in this movie was also very visually pleasing but I’ve come to expect this from Ridley Scott as he has a keen attention to detail. The fighting scenes both at the beginning and end of the movie were really well constructed and brilliantly filmed as the true brutality of 12th century war was captured.
The one thing that I was slightly disappointed with was the lack of inclusion and size of the role given to the Sheriff of Nottingham. In other movies and the story of Robin Hood, he’s usually a prominent figure that acts as Prince John’s errand boy and right hand man but in this movie, although he swears to do right by the newly crowned king of England he has such a small and insignificant role considering the importance of his character.
Overall, I throughly enjoyed this version of the Robin Hood story as it was cast well and Ridley Scott did a fantastic job with his direction. With gritty battle scenes, although at times a little unrealistic, I feel this movie gets a bit of a hard time by reviewers on IMDb. I still prefer the animated story by Disney but this is very close to equaling the quality.