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Latauro takes his quarterstaff to ROBIN HOOD

Published at: May 12, 2010, 8:44 a.m. CST

It baffled me why Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe would want to make yet another version of the Robin Hood mythos, but the few details that initially trickled out suggested they actually did have a new take on the subject. There was talk that the new film would be called NOTTINGHAM, that Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham would be played by the same actor, and that the Sheriff would be the good guy and Robin would be the bad guy. Whether or not all of these rumours came from the same draft or not, and regardless of whether you think they sound any good, at least there seemed to be a new and mostly-original way to tell the story.

Then all of that changed. All the new stuff was thrown out, and S-Crowe -- for I spent a long time then trying to decide on the best combination of their names -- chose to go with a pretty bog-standard version that would be called, simply and boringly, ROBIN HOOD. With the average BODY OF LIES, the okay AMERICAN GANGSTER, and the horrible A GOOD YEAR still fresh in my memory, I can't say this new ROBIN HOOD was exciting me much. But, I hoped before the screening, low expectations could be just what I need to enjoy it. As it turned out, low expectations were actually the perfect primer for this excessively long, overwrought, painfully serious movie.

What's astonishing is how boring this film is. I was worried it would be bad, but it did not occur to me that it would be so dull. It stems from this current trend of making everything appear as realistic as possible. This trend, incidentally, is one I am mostly in favour of. Making a world realistic makes its fantastical elements all the more extraordinary; sure, watching Bruce Wayne test out various iterations of his bat-mask may look on paper as if it's dulling the legend, but it makes me believe that the world is real, and that helps the fantasy. It's a good ambition to have. Unfortunately, the other side of that coin is films like KING ARTHUR and ROBIN HOOD, wherein they try to convince us that the history they are telling us is the true one behind the myth, yet instead of being more realistic, it just comes off as less interesting.

Why are they doing this? Robin Hood is not some legendary historical figure whose true story needs telling. He's a folklore legend, and a fun one at that, so where the hell is the fun? Why does every joke have to be some crude sex joke which, much like in KING ARTHUR, the writers seem to think is classier because it's told in a mild version of Ye Olde English. It's desperate stuff, and does the film no favours.

The film's most baffling moments comes in the middle, where it suddenly lurches into an anti-immigration polemic. In the midst of some well-intentioned but ultimately misplaced scenes regarding the Magna Carta: Draft One, the film suddenly appears to take on the message that "We should set aside our feuding, and join forces to stop foreigners coming to our land!". It's actually not the strangest political subtext in a big budget film this year (keep an eye out for my forthcoming PRINCE OF PERSIA review), but it does stick out awkwardly from the rest of the movie.

Then we come to Russell Crowe. Look, I don't hate Russell Crowe. I really don't. I adore LA CONFIDENTIAL and MASTER AND COMMANDER, and given he's a local boy made good, I really want to be in his corner... and okay, sure, I once said he'd given the worst leading performance by an A-list actor in the history of cinema... but I still want to like him. Nevertheless, there's something a bit off about his role in Robin Hood, where you don't so much feel like you're watching anything other than Rusty shooting a bow and arrow in earthy greens. But I will say something positive about him: as of ROBIN HOOD, Russell Crowe has now mastered every single UK accent! That right: all the British accents he didn't use in A GOOD YEAR are used in ROBIN HOOD. I think he starts off Scottish. Where he ends is anyone's guess.

Cate Blanchett maintains her dignity as Marion, and her character would have been the best thing about the film had it not entered into self-parody territory and had her suit up and head into battle. What? I mean, what?!? Is this how we're approaching female empowerment in the 21st century? We take classic tales like ALICE IN WONDERLAND and ROBIN HOOD, and then -- with absolutely no setup or foreshadowing -- stick the lead woman in some chain mail and send her into a battle that was invented so the film could have a third act? We'd already established Marion as a strong, realistic character. Why the fuck is she suddenly Joan of Arc? Anyone who isn't groaning or laughing at this point of the movie has a better tolerance than I do.

The film's finale drags it down even further. It's not the sub-par recreation of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN's beach storming, or the curiously unengaging battle sequence, but rather it's the ending. I'm going to head into spoiler territory now, so be warned: this is not the Robin Hood you're used to. Ridley Scott's ROBIN HOOD is meant to be the setup for the legend. Either they're planning to make a sequel, or -- and I believe this is more likely -- it's a standalone film that's meant to end with us saying "Ohhh, so that's how he got started!". It's like the cliffhanger is there to introduce a far superior film someone else made years earlier. (For another example of this, see THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL.)

Look, ROBIN HOOD is not sacred text. It's a canvas upon which any number of styles can be applied, be it the aging romance of ROBIN AND MARION, or the comedic switcheroo of the BBC's "Maid Marion and Her Merry Men". Sure, I was raised on the perfect 1938 Curtiz/Keighley/Flynn version, but I still love the Disney version and the Daffy Duck version, and I liked the Kevin Costner one. There's room for new versions of the tale, even if they are revisionist origin tales. But above all, they should be enjoyable, not boring, and that is why Ridley Scott's ROBIN HOOD fails.

Latauro
AICNDownunder@hotmail.com



Readers Talkback

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  • May 12, 2010, 8:46 a.m. CST

    SCOTT/CROWE SHOULD HAVE MADE ROCKET ROBIN HOOD!!!FACT!!!

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    Fuck this piece of shit and I'm getting tired of Scott's fixation with period films. Make another Sci-fi movie already you cuntsicle.

  • May 12, 2010, 8:49 a.m. CST

    YOU WILL NEVER OUT DO MICHAEL CURTIZ'S FILM!!!FACT!!!

    by TehCreepyThinMan

  • May 12, 2010, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Surprise Surprise.

    by MainMan2001

    This seemed like an awful idea from the jump and scott sucks anymore.

  • May 12, 2010, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Ho! Ha ha! Guard! Turn! Parry!

    by Nice Marmot

    Dodge! Spin! Ha! Thrust!

  • May 12, 2010, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Tony Scott is way cooler anymore

    by MainMan2001

    I use to like Ridley more then Tony but now that's change. Not that they need to be compared to each other but they are brothers who started out together so this shit happens. Tony new style is way cooler and far more entertaining then Ridley's dreadfully boring dia scenes.

  • May 12, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST

    no surprises there

    by mr. smith

  • May 12, 2010, 8:54 a.m. CST

    GLADIATOR 2 : ROBIN HOOD

    by gruemanlives

    This definitely didn't look very original.

  • May 12, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST

    This film needed Joaquin Phoenix chewing gum

    by ricarleite2

    And pretending to be a Yo Yo Master.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:02 a.m. CST

    I can't say I'm surprised.

    by Sithtastic

    This film has been universally panned by well...everyone I can think of. After they took out the aforementioned Nottingham script treatment elements, it all winds up being stale and old hat for Scott and company. They could have taken a risk with Nottingham, but this offers us no real justification to re-making this story yet again.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Men in tights FTW!

    by Powerring

    Better than the 1938 version all the way!

  • May 12, 2010, 9:04 a.m. CST

    60% at rotten tomatoes

    by Powerring

    Not exactly universally panned...not like furry vengence...

  • May 12, 2010, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Lithmus test of Crowe's box office appeal vs new Master and Comm

    by Mel Garga

    Can the marquee names of Crowe and Scott overcome negative reviews? And, pertaining Crowe, will this be taken into account in regards to the viability of a new Master and Commander film? Let us to see.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:05 a.m. CST

    WILL THE DIRECTOR'S CUT DVD SALVAGE THIS FILM?

    by Mullah Omar

    It's a longshot, but it sounds like the only shot.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Ridley does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Move on Ridley...<p> You got one more masterpiece in you yet old timer... bring it full circle with a superb ALIEN movie and then retire to your comfy leather chair and smoke cigars till the cows come home.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:15 a.m. CST

    I knew this would end up...

    by Marshal_Lannes

    ...as shit the day I read they were changing the premise of the film from the Sheriff to tired, old Hood...Curious to know if this was Scott's decision or the studio's...

  • May 12, 2010, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Master And Commander was a very good period film

    by Darth Busey

    This. Not so much. Crowe = box office poison the last 10 years.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Poor Ridley Scott

    by Lemure_v2

    He really has started to dull with age. Fingers crossed for the Alien prequel, better have Tony on standby just in case.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:18 a.m. CST

    I agree about the realism..

    by Phineas_Flavel

    This current trend toward making everything seem realistic is just horribly misguided. Especially when you have to remove endearing elements that people expect from their legends to do it. Robin Hood was never a real person just like King Arthur was never real. Did anyone complain about the unrealistic elements in Excalibur? Did anyone thank Clive Owen and Keira Knightly for their more "realistic" version? The Dark Knight might have made gritty realism work, but let's face it, it also sacrificed some of the fun to do it.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:20 a.m. CST

    worst a-list performance ever?

    by Destry

    "a good year"? seriously? dude: harrison ford, "regarding henry." brad pitt, "meet joe black." ("i certainly like this...peanut butter...")

  • May 12, 2010, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Must be lost in translation then...

    by dude_gimme_tabs

    As the Telegraph, the Mail and The Times all gave it 4 out of 5 stars and are raving about it.<p> Plus the comment re: the accent must also be from some lack of context as the reports I read talk of a perfect (although not historically accurate) accent.<p> A Good Year was not made for us.<p> Body of Lies kicks ass as a modern espionage film.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:23 a.m. CST

    A Good year was a great change for Crowe, good film

    by npjs55

  • May 12, 2010, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Scott should have walked away from this

    by performingmonkey

    Once the interesting aspects of the project (the focus on the Sheriff, Hood as a real bad guy) were cut away he should have said 'ok, goodbye' and moved on.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:25 a.m. CST

    A Good Year

    by dude_gimme_tabs

    I thought it was worth expanding on my point above. Criticising A Good Year on here is like me critiquing "Sex and The City 2".<p> It is not made for us, it has nothing to offer us. It does not address a single one of our likes, dislikes, aspirations, fantasies etc. etc.<p> To call it horrible is as pointless a comment, in context on here, as a reviewer for Cosmopoliton magazine writing "....that horrible Predator movie...".

  • May 12, 2010, 9:25 a.m. CST

    I was interested in seeing Nottingham...

    by bubcus

    It sounded original and unique. <BR><BR> I haven't seen anything about this new one making me want to see it. And silly to say, I remain attached to Disney's cartoon version that I saw in my childhood.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Does the old Flynn movie still hold up?

    by bat725

    I'm not saying the new Robin Hood is better (I haven't see either). I just can't bring myself to watch old black & white movies. People just talked different back then, and the acting comes off as cheesy.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Forget the film, when is Russels new album gonna drop?

    by I_shot_Cyrus

  • May 12, 2010, 9:31 a.m. CST

    The Errol Flynn version is colorized

    by Darth Busey

    I watched it a few months ago. It still swashes my buckles. In like Flynn, baby.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:31 a.m. CST

    I've been talking my wife out of wanting to see this.

    by DoctorWho?

    The trailer screams "BORING". Why can't she see that?<p> How does Scott make the greatest movie of all time and then continually strike out with everything since?

  • May 12, 2010, 9:35 a.m. CST

    The trailers for this thing

    by CathleenTurnerOverdrive

    have done nothing to stand out or get people excited. Before Iron Man 2 last weekend, you could actually hear some groans from audience members in the theater I was at while this trailer played. Sad really. Nottingham sounded like an interesting concept. Wish they'd taken the gamble on it.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:35 a.m. CST

    bat725

    by alan_poon

    It's actually colourised and yes it does hold up brilliantly.I actually liked A Good Year if only for Marion Cottilard, Abbie Cornish and the beautiful French countryside.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Old Flynn movie absolutely holds up

    by Laserhead

    I was reading all the crap reviews of this 'Robin Hood' and I ended up buying the blu-ray of Curtiz and Flynn's movie; watched it the other day and it was still a 100% enjoyable movie.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    The Errol Flynn version was shot in Technicolor

    by Primogen

    and is one of the greatest action films of all time.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:39 a.m. CST

    CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE

    by Darth Busey

    Is another great Errol Flynn movie.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Robin Hood: The Original Socialist

    by RogueWarrior65

    IMHO, the decision to scrap the original premise could only have been the work of political correctness or rather political trendiness...anti-illegal sub-text notwithstanding.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:41 a.m. CST

    THEY SHOULD'VE SET THIS IN SPACE

    by BringingSexyBack

  • May 12, 2010, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Too bad

    by Abominable Snowcone

    I love Scott and like Crowe, but frankly I'm just not interested in another Robin Hood. And you're right--if women didn't suit up for battle back in those times, don't put it in the movie to please 21st century women who might be watching from the audience. It negates all the 'reality' stuff you're trying to accomplish.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Even Costner's RH was a good time.

    by Orbots Commander

    I actually saw that in the theater, the same year I graduated high school ( I just aged myself), and though Costner was hit and miss in it, the whole cast around him was a blast and the movie had a surprising amount of swash in its buckle. <p> Robin Hood should have been more along the lines of Martin Campbell's Mask of Zorro, a fun swashbuckler, or POTC, rather than a 'gritty', 'realistic take' on the legend. As was said, who the hell cares to see a 'realistic' Robin Hood or King Arthur? The whole fun of the story is around the myth. It's like telling a realistic version of Greek mythology. It would miss the entire point.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Everything Russell does

    by Abominable Snowcone

    he does it for you. You know it's true. Bryan Adams told me.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:45 a.m. CST

    I'd like to see the Excalibur of Robin Hood movies

    by rev_skarekroe

    Where everything is smoky and gauzy and mystical and exists in a world of its own, free of historical context.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Brave, brave Sir Robin

    by Abominable Snowcone

    He's not afraid to die

  • May 12, 2010, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Kinda what I thought

    by Deathpool

    Every trailer and commercial for this movie made it look boring as hell. Not bad just... devoid of life.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:48 a.m. CST

    So is Robin a replicant or not?

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Better do the Voight-Kampf test. <p> "So, Robin. Have you ever considered felating a man?"

  • May 12, 2010, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Does Robin use C-4

    by Abominable Snowcone

    in castles and on bad guy wagons? Does he kill villains with feet smaller than his sister? Do any of Sheriff Nottingham's henchman use Parkour in the forest?

  • May 12, 2010, 9:52 a.m. CST

    ohmahgod this isn't a fantasy superhero movie!!

    by zazou

    First of all this film is not ,"universally panned".There are good reviews from Variety, Empire etc;A Robin Hood story is not what the AICN mindset craves.If Scott had made Robin asecret wizard with the power of flight,aguy who fights bad government with magic and potions.If Maid Marian would be dancing nude in the moonlight next to a Druid ruin.Suddenlt there are many champions of the 1938 version of Robin ,that film was of its time ,it is 72 years old. This film looks good to me,a good approximation of the period.There were many film critics who did not want this film made,and have been complaining endlessly that it has. That has nothing to do with the quality of the film.Film criticism is not a science but subjective interpretation.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:52 a.m. CST

    At the end of the movie

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Does Robin hold up a broadsword, shout "Freedom!" and lead a charge on horseback against the enemy army? <p> Do we learn in the third act that the Sheriff's real last name is "Gruber?" He should have a peg leg and robot prosthetics

  • May 12, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST

    It's that stupid giant bib he wears

    by RETURN_of_FETT

    The Kevin Costner one had that too. I don't give a fuck if it's some sort of proven historical fact that he wore this, it looks fucking retarded and I can't take that character seriously. Seriously, he should wear a fucking hood. The hood makes him mysterious. It looks cool. That would at least make me think "Well....he LOOKS cool anyway" when watching the trailer. But all I see is the boring-assed Kevin Costner version when I see that trailer and that's not going to get my ass in a theater seat. I've got too much shit to do to gamble my time on something that looks fucking boring.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Archery-Kata

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Is there archery-kata in this film? Does Robin split an arrow that split ANOTHER arrow in a tree?Any subtle or tongue-in-cheek comparisons between arrows, swords, etc with the penis? I hope Marian dies.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Do Robin and his merry men

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Visit the Merry Olde Towne of Cockenballs?

  • May 12, 2010, 9:58 a.m. CST

    This doesn't bode well for Alien...

    by Scalvador

    I really want this Alien prequel to be good, but Scott appears to be off form at the moment. I'd still prefer off form Ridley over Tony any day - Tony is utter dog shit as a filmmaker.

  • May 12, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Weird - Empire said how FUN it is

    by Cat_Corporation

    I don't know who to believe!!

  • May 12, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Robin gets caught..

    by Powerring

    dragged, racked and disemboweled before a crowd in London. He manages to shout one last word: "Fran....chise!!!"

  • May 12, 2010, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Empire Magazine got kickbacks

    by Wookie_Weed

    to write a positive review of RH.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:04 a.m. CST

    "You can't behead the TRUTH!"

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Cries our hero as the sheriff's cronies drag him up the stairs to the axeman.<p> Meanwhile, Marian vigorously masturbates in her chambers overlooking the courtyard, in wet anticipation of another lesbian encounter.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:06 a.m. CST

    The original idea

    by JoeD

    in my opinion, was a little silly. It still ran with the whole good/evil story we've seen a million times before. What they could have done is make a morally ambiguous Robin Hood film. The Sherriff could have been a decent man, but interested in order, the existing social structure, slowly changing institutions. He could have employed questionable methods to preserve these institutions. Robin Hood could have been a revolutionary well before his time. He could have had ideas about personal liberty, while being forced to face the drawbacks of undisciplined liberty. He could have been responsible for inciting the deaths of innocent civilians, even if this had not been his original aim. They could have done something novel, but preferred to go the boring route. I really have no interest in seeing this.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:06 a.m. CST

    another lesbian encounter

    by Powerring

    might have interested me in seeing this.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:07 a.m. CST

    lRobin Hood should always be fun and cool.

    by zazou

    That AICN review was soooo biased.Lautauro doesn't like Crowe ,thinks Sir Ridley's work is off and states that this Robin Hood should't have been made.Yep,no bias there.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:11 a.m. CST

    There are no happy endings

    by Abominable Snowcone

    at the hands of the ginger midget masseusse in the bathhouse on the outskirts of Sherwood Forest. Such bliss awaits only on the tongue of yon fair Maid Marion, whose supple fingers know well the shape of the scrotal sack.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:13 a.m. CST

    A GOOD REVIEW...

    by THE TRUE PINBACK

    ...but I will see the film nonetheless and make my own judgment about it. It amazes me how many people read a negative review and start crying about how bad a film is before they have seen it. I love to read reviews...mostly to either find some spoilers or to make me laugh. I have been a Ridley Scott fan since 1979, and even tough I haven't liked ALL his films, I DO acknoledge the fact that he is a master filmmaker, and I will pay to see his films...much the same feelings as I have about Steven Spielberg. While I haven't been overhelmed by what I have seen from ROBIN HOOD, I still plan on seeing it. Go ahead and pan it...I choose to make up my own mind, thank you.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Hark!

    by Abominable Snowcone

    What viscous nectare doth trickle down the throat of yon fair maiden on this well moon-light nocturne?

  • May 12, 2010, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Yoiks and away!

    by Darkman

    Actually, it's a buck-and-a-quarter quarter staff, but I'm not telling him that. <br><br> And thanks for confirming my thoughts about how boring this movie looks.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Ridley Scott...

    by Mosquito March

    ...has sucked for years. Seriously - he has two great movies under his belt, out of, what? 20? And the last great one was in 1982. How many boring, lifeless pieces of crap does this guy have to put out before people accept that his movies, by and large, blow?

  • May 12, 2010, 10:22 a.m. CST

    It's not just the review.

    by Orbots Commander

    It's also the awful, dire trailers for RH, and the 'realistic take' on the story, that has everybody badmouthing this. <p> Somebody needs to make the Excalibur version of Robin Hood, apart from Curtiz' excellent film, employing the full-on myth. The story shouldn't be dark and grim. <p> It's like that quote from The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance: when you have a choice of printing the real story or the myth, you go with the myth.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:22 a.m. CST

    BlahblahblahblahblahOUTLAWWWW!!!!!!!!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Remember how much fun the first Pirates Of The Caribbean was, because it was fast, funny, and swashed many buckles? Remember how dreary the sequels were, which ran FOREEEEEVVVVVEEEEEERRRRRRRRR and were filled with backstabbing and baffling mythology and a perplexing lack of humor? That's what wrong with Robin Hood. The Martin Campbell Zorro movies (even the second one, which was depressingly panned) are the only recent films of this type to really be FUN. I just have this horrible vision of a "gritty re-imagining" of the Zorro legend where he never wears a mask, never cracks a smile, never kisses the heroine, and goes around slaying bad guys while "anguished" Hans Gregson-Jablonsky music groans portentiously in the background. I hope the grim 'n' gritty fad of tarnishing fun old legends goes away soon.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:24 a.m. CST

    "I liked the Kevin Costner one"

    by nemov

    That pretty much sums up why I could care less what this guys thinks. He could be right, but that remark disqualifies his opinion as far as I'm concerned.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST

    I heard that the evil sheriff

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Catches Little John, Friar Tuck, and Marian and sews them ass-to-mouth in a HUMAN CENTIPEDE!!

  • May 12, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Mosquito March

    by Orbots Commander

    The last great Ridley Scott movie was Blackhawk Down. I think many would agree with me. After that, it's all been down hill for Scott, including the awful A Good Year. I appreciated the tone and what it wanted to say; it's just that it was so ham-handed. A Good Year would have been an excellent Nora Ephron film.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:27 a.m. CST

    It would be nice if Ash Williams showed up

    by Abominable Snowcone

    you know, just suddenly appeared in Sherwood Forest from a time bubble, chainsaw-hand at the ready, and he told Marian to "Give me some sugar, baby."

  • May 12, 2010, 10:39 a.m. CST

    I'm dubious about accent criticisms from non-Brits.

    by raw_bean

    I had a lengthy argument with an ignorant yank once about the accents in Lord of the Rings, specifically the Hobbits, and he just refused to believe that there were people who actually talked with some of those accents in real life and kept insisting he knew better than me when I knew people from the parts of the world the accents originated. I haven't seen the film, and I tend to agree with Lat most of the times on films, and maybe he's got a very good understanding of British regional accents, but what I get from the trailer (and was very pleased to hear) is a slight Yorkshire/generic Northern accent from Crowe, not a million miles dissimilar from my own.<p>Also, as a fan of historical fiction, I think I'm more predisposed to like this than Lat. I love a well-told (although I'll believe this may not be) 'truth behind the myth' bit of speculative fiction, and while the recent Clive Owen 'King Arthur' film was rather poor, it wasn't the approach I had a problem with, merely its shoddy execution and ridiculous historical distortions. Bernard Cornwell's (the creator of Sharpe, for Sean Bean fans) trilogy of books on Arthur was astonishing and managed to tell a story infinitely more fascinating to me than the standard romantic legend, whilst still being a good mix of the legendary elements told in a much more plausible and historically period-accurate milieu. I get the feeling that I'll either like this film a whole lot more than Lat, or the flaws in it will disappoint me greatly because the film is so close to what I would love to see.<p> On the other hand, massive props for mentioning 'Maid Marion and her Merry Men'. There's a formative chunk of my childhood right there.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Christopher Tooky

    by dude_gimme_tabs

    Christopher Tooky gave it 4 out of 5 and raved about it, and he usually hates everything and everyone.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:45 a.m. CST

    "A curse on all Moors. Were not for their ungodly

    by BLEST

    ways Master Robin would never have left. What manner of name is Azim? Irish? Scottish?<p>"Moorish!"<p>(gasp!)<p>"The hospitality in this country is as warm as the weather."<p>"Point me towards danger Azim, I am ready!"<p>Prince of Thieves FTW.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Devin Faraci hates this film

    by kwisatzhaderach

    So it must be good.

  • May 12, 2010, 10:55 a.m. CST

    I'll wait for the remake....

    by codecrackx15

    ...in like 2 years.... Sick of the Robin Hood story...nothing but a sleazy liberal Democrat stealing from the successful and giving to the lazy masses who can't fend for themselves......

  • May 12, 2010, 11:06 a.m. CST

    I love Robin Hood, Crowe, Blanchett and Scott

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    How could this suck? I'll go in open-minded but a little worried now.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Orbots Commander

    by Mosquito March

    BLACKHAWK was very well-executed, but I can't tell you the name of a single character in that whole movie, and I've seen it twice. These were all real people, and the movie doesn't bother to tell me who they are. That pulls it out of the running for "greatness", in my opinion. Scott isn't interested in characters, he's interested in milieus. I don't think he's capable of another ALIEN or BLADE RUNNER.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:13 a.m. CST

    It's like the Rolling Stones song

    by zazou

    You know you don't always get what you want, but you get what you need.The Robin Hood story has lasted like 800 years. Who we are now,what we believe in is related to characters like Hood.It's a miracle that Scott can conjure up the past as he does. The Faraci comment was good ,very astute.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:20 a.m. CST

    !!

    by oddzag

    Can I just say how refreshing it is to have something posted to AICN that doesn't feel the need to exclamation mark everything? Thanks.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST

    A bit baffled

    by godric

    This opens tonight in the UK and our two main film magazines have given it vastly different reviews. Empire rated it 4 stars and praised its gripping realism, while Total Film says, and I quote, "The most pointless and bloated vanity project since Battlefield Earth." Ouch.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:29 a.m. CST

    godric

    by kwisatzhaderach

    I wouldn't pay attention to reviews from either Empire or Total Film these days.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:34 a.m. CST

    UK Press reviews

    by dan260775

    Pretty much across the board positive reviews. Mostly alluding to the fact that its a grown up summer blockbuster. So I'll reserve judgement I think.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Is this another KOH situation

    by Turd_Has_Risen_From_The_Grave

    Has Scott been shafted by the studio once again, and will there be a better, longer version on Blu/DVD? <p>Blah, Scott needs to stop dicking around and gives us sci-fi. I pray that the 'Alien Harvest' script is fan made, or Scott really has lost his marbles.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:39 a.m. CST

    A magnificent grown up summer blockbuster

    by judge dredds fresh undies

    That will be Inception not Robin Hood.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST

    ROBIN HOOD

    by Darth Scourge

    Saw it this afternoon. Decent battle sequences, as we've come to expect from Scott. Kudos for getting the true origin of the Robin Hood figure too, that he was from Yorkshire. But yes, Crowe's North of England accent is all over the place... sometimes sounds like he's from Liverpool, other times sounds like Sheffield.

  • May 12, 2010, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Quite Frankly

    by D o o d

    The Trailers look shit. Russell Crowe is doing Russell Crowe. Ridley hasn't made a decent film in many many years (he's made "ok" films).<p>So this was never on my radar to see and judging by the above reviewer, who seems very genuine, This will be on my Watch it on TV if there is absolutely nothing else on and nothing else to do!

  • May 12, 2010, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Warrior Maiden

    by ScorchedTBurntLembas

    I think Marion suited in armor is a nice twist on the story. Reminds me of Cate in Elizabeth the Golden Age. And my personal fav warrior babe Eowyn~ "You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and king. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him." Empowered women are HOT!

  • May 12, 2010, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Robin of Sherwood rules them all

    by kevred

    If I'd never watched that series, maybe I'd think that making yet another version of the story was a good idea.<p>Having watched it, though, I realize I've seen the best-realized Robin Hood there ever was or will be. Things like the Costner film are just laughable, thin, flimsy wastes of time in comparison.<p>Nothing whatsoever about this new film says 'Robin Hood' to me. If they just changed the names of the characters, no one would think it was a Robin Hood story.

  • May 12, 2010, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Grit and Ugliness

    by PennyB

    Let's not slam it until we've seen it. That said---I'm sick of grit and ugly. I want Marian in a beautiful gown, using her mind to fight evil. The world is ugly and gritty enough without adding more on the screen. I go to movies to ESCAPE---not revel in ugly and cruel.

  • May 12, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    It looks like refried shit, Ridley phones it in

    by reflecto

    Gladiator by way of Sherwood Forest! Like Latauro, I have no idea why they jettisoned all the early "Nottingham" ideas for this crud.

  • May 12, 2010, 12:13 p.m. CST

    This is why the new 3 Musketeers movie is

    by estacado1

    a bad idea.

  • May 12, 2010, 12:19 p.m. CST

    hate gritty reality based histories?

    by funkylovemonkey

    Like... Braveheart or Band of Brothers... or Saving Private Ryan? Okay, Braveheart is a bad example because it doesn't have a lot of relation to reality, but then again we're talking about Robin Hood, so I think it works. The reason the other movies like King Arthur failed (or possibly this one, I'll wait to see to decide for myself) is because of a bad script and possibly bad direction. When a gritty realistic movie like Saving Private Ryan is made it can be just as entertaining and have the added benefit of not being empty calorie filler.

  • May 12, 2010, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Kingdom of Heaven was shit so I'm not surprised

    by Craquette

    by the failure of ROBIN HOOD

  • May 12, 2010, 12:36 p.m. CST

    The Errol Flynn version is not colorized

    by FlyingToupee

    It was shot in glorious Technicolor, and is one of the most beautiful color films ever made.

  • May 12, 2010, 12:40 p.m. CST

    And as for the Curtiz version holding up...

    by FlyingToupee

    In color or b/w, it's one of the great adventure classics of all time, with a classic duel between Flynn and Basil Rathbone that still outdoes most other film fights just for its spirit and energy(not to mention cracklin' dialogue). The real question is: did Costner's film hold up five years after it was released, or will this new film ever make an impression at all? I think not.

  • May 12, 2010, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Dull trailer, dull review... I believe you

    by Citizen Sane

  • May 12, 2010, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Why another Robin Hood?

    by hallmitchell

    I said the same about Alice in Wonderland. I was wrong on that one. Yet right about Robin Hood. I won't be going.

  • May 12, 2010, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Ho! Ha-ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! THRUST!

    by None_So_Blind

    All else pales next to this version of RH

  • May 12, 2010, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Was kind of bummed

    by erik_a

    Saw a screening last night. For the most part I did find myself enjoying it, but I agree with most of this review. There was no sense of fun, and when Maid Marion did show up in chainmail in the big fight, it sure did feel out of place. And there were these 'Lost Boys' types that lived in the forest which weren't explained very well which somehow Marion was leading into battle. Kind of a WTF? moment.

  • May 12, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Another Master and Commander, please...

    by covenant

    ...rather than this forgettable turd of a movie. Crowe keeps burning his box-office goodwill, another M&C will never happen.

  • May 12, 2010, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Another Master & Commander movie will not happen

    by Darth Busey

    First one cost $150M to make. You think somebody's going to bankroll another?

  • May 12, 2010, 1:46 p.m. CST

    methinks the lady doth protest too much

    by AsimovLives

  • May 12, 2010, 1:47 p.m. CST

    EXCALIBUR is fucking great

    by Darth Busey

    The plot is kinda all over the place in terms of how it patches the Arthurian legend together, but the iconography of certain scenes in the movie is great, and Boorman really nailed the tone.

  • May 12, 2010, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Abominable Snowcone...

    by RETURN_of_FETT

    I REALLY wish you hadn't mentioned that human centipede thing. I never read those articles so I had no idea what the premise was. So then I read them....and got completely grossed out. The concept is totally haunting me now. There are a couple of things I've found out about in life that I wish I didn't know ever happened. Human Centipede is definitely in that group.

  • May 12, 2010, 2:08 p.m. CST

    I Nominate Latauro...

    by Rebeck2

    The best film reviewer here at AICN. Now that's a simple, clear, intelligent and funny review of a movie - they should all be like this. Well done, mate.

  • May 12, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    The ending is terrible - SPOILERS

    by Bathman

    are we supposed to belive that the old man was really a future robin, it makes no sense in this "real" world that he used magic to come back and correct his mistakes, plus the way it's revealed makes it seem like we had been following odler robin's vision, in which case thats not the same robin we spent 2 hours with, the older robin was bitter because of his sacrafices.<P>Overall it's just a tedious movie and i don't get the fantasy twist at the end

  • May 12, 2010, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Lordoflight

    by Rebeck2

    Evidently Crowe's accent isn't going to make you that much happier. Costner's voice is terrible, period - go back and listen to his flat reading of the narration on DANCES WITH WOLVES, it's so bad. Being American may be one of the worst cinematic sins according to you (Connery however is fine as a Scottish Russian), but PRINCE OF THIEVES is a pretty fun matinee movie and more people on here would agree with me than you. So...go see this gritty "realistic" version and choke on it, you stuck-up Brit.

  • May 12, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    they should have gone with the gay robin hood

    by Bathman

    you know, the one with the peter pan costume and ol' timey point beard

  • May 12, 2010, 3:46 p.m. CST

    If they remade Douglas Fairbank's Robinhood

    by Charlie Allnut

    We'd never notice Crowe's accent

  • May 12, 2010, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Inception already looks forgettable.

    by RPLocke

  • May 12, 2010, 4:36 p.m. CST

    A better Russell for this would be Naomi Russell

    by TakingScorpiosCalls

    AKA the anal queen. Giving anal to all of the evil kingsmen.

  • May 12, 2010, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Like I said in another thread...

    by SunTzu77

    "Robin Hood" felt like "Sommersby" meets "The Patriot" set during medieval times. If you like dramas... I emphasize dramas because the film isn't epic and the battles are stale (when the beach battle occurs I wondered why it was quite tame then I remembered it was PG-13) then this movie is for you. The film to me was jejune.

  • May 12, 2010, 5:05 p.m. CST

    My favorite adaptation of RH was...

    by SunTzu77

    the old tv series "Robin of Sherwood." I used to watch it on Showtime as a kid. The series went to crap when Connery's son took over.

  • May 12, 2010, 5:45 p.m. CST

    "Actually, it's a buck-and-a-quarter quarter staff..."

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Yes! Someone actually remembered that line from the old Looney Tunes cartoon.<P>Tip o' the hat, Darkman.

  • May 12, 2010, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Here ya go Gaius :)

    by SunTzu77

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ_R5XaD2-8

  • May 12, 2010, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Scary

    by Shoegeezer

    that so many seem to think the 1938 Robin Hood was colorized. Are they joking? Am I missing something? Technicolor looks so different to colorization, there have been some amazing Technicolor movies on Blu-Ray, well worth checking out.

  • May 12, 2010, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Shoulda made Cate Blanchett Robin Hood

    by Wookie_Weed

    and Russell Crowe the Sheriff. And made it more FUN.

  • May 12, 2010, 8:01 p.m. CST

    LAtauro, ya shoulda used...

    by JayLenoTookMyJob

    ... your buck-and-a-quarterstaff. Nice shout-out to good ol' Daffy!

  • May 12, 2010, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Crowe's growling mug was perfect for Gladiator

    by BadMrWonka

    but then again, there had to be some dude inside the Sloth outfit in the Goonies.<p>not everything works across the board, you know?

  • May 12, 2010, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore

    by Joely_Boy

  • May 12, 2010, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Thanks, SunTzu77. Cheers!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

  • May 13, 2010, 10:53 a.m. CST

    "he's a local boy made good"

    by Squilookle

    Just what is THAT supposed to mean? And it's MariAn not MariOn- get it right, you've only had a good 600 years or so...

  • May 15, 2010, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Kingdom of Heaven: Director's Cut = BORING

    by The E

    Agree w/ Craquette, not surprised Robin is getting similar criticism.