There are very few people that enjoy movies, that can say they’ve never heard of Ridley Scott. One of the most bad-ass masterminds ever to come down the pike, he’s been the creator of handfuls of $100+ million dollar movies. “Alien,” “Blade Runner,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Gladiator,” “Hannibal,” “Black Hawk Down,” “American Gangster,” and “Body of Lies” are just some of his mountain of mega-hits. Success doesn’t hide well in his family, with his brother Tony Scott also directing nothing but gold. Ridley is known to team up with his favorite leading man Russell Crowe on multiple occasions, where his brother Tony is in cahoots with stellar star, Denzel Washington. Last summer, the brothers produced together for one of the first times, alongside director Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces), adding their own bit of style to “The A-Team.” Face it, they don’t make bad decisions.
Following King Richard’s death in France, archer Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe), along with Will Scarlett (Scott Grimes), Allan A’Dayle (Alan Doyle) and Little John (Kevin Durand), returns to England. They encounter the dying Robert of Locksley, whose party was ambushed by treacherous Godfrey (Mark Strong), who hopes to facilitate a French invasion of England. Robin promises the dying knight he will return his sword to his father Walter (Max von Sydow) in Nottingham. Here Walter encourages him to impersonate the dead man to prevent his land being confiscated by the crown, and he finds himself with Marian (Cate Blanchett), a ready-made wife. Hoping to stir baronial opposition to weak King John, and allowing an easy French take-over, Godfrey worms his way into the king’s service as Earl Marshal of England and brutally invades towns under the cover of collecting Royal taxes.
Last holiday season, I sat in the local theater, excited to see one movie or another. When the trailers began to play, I wasn’t sure what was in store for me. It was a crisp looking action movie, that seemed to be dated back a couple centuries. Could it be “Gladiator 2?” Well there is Russell Crowe… it might just be. Oh wait, there’s bows and arrows involved. Oh my god it’s another “Robin Hood.” I was about to make a joke, until I saw “directed by Ridley Scott.” Enough said for me, I’m in. I got exactly what I prepared myself for. It was a powerhouse of en epic tale, but dragged on for 45 minutes too long. If it were a bit shorter, it still would have pulled just as much punch. Ridley Scott is known to make a short story long, but at least it’s tasteful. Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe did a pretty convincing job playing each other’s love interests. It was however a bit unevenly paced, which had chunks of action, followed by slower dramatic attempts. On again, off again; just like a switch. Kevin Durand did a pretty sweet job portraying Little John. He will be a tough guy face, that you won’t soon forget, as he’s slowly getting more popular, since the “Walking Tall” remake. Just like in “Sherlock Holmes,” Mark Strong, does a near perfect duty of fulfilling the bad guy’s britches, and doesn’t do a bad job looking just like Andy Garcia either. All in all, a more than average update to a done, done, and redone genre. I was happy to see Russell Crowe, instead of someone like Ben Affleck.
Official Website: http://www.robinhoodthemovie.com
Review By: Charlie Giltenboth