Summer Film Series – Vol. 8, No. 1: ROBIN HOOD
May 31, 2010, at Movies 14, McKinney Texas
In theory, this latest telling of the Robin Hood story is everything I love in film: beloved actors, epic scale, a much-loved tale. There is no reason it should disappoint, and it did not. That’s not to say this is the best Robin Hood movie I’ve ever seen, or that it’s a movie I would watch over and over again. But I did like it very much and felt it was a fresh take on the legend. Rather than rehash the Sherwood Forest angle, this Robin Hood explored the origins of the man who became the myth. And yet, it was not the origin I had always heard. Which begs the question: what’s the source of this new tale? A little research reveals that there is some support to the new film’s conceit, but there are definitely new angles, as well. The story of Robin and Marion, for instance, is completely new. Robin’s name of Loxley is not his true name in this film but rather the name that he assumes from another. And Marion is that other man’s wife. And it is she who hails from Nottingham. Even the timeline for King John and Richard the Lionheart is different from any other retelling I’ve heard. All of which kept me on my toes and made the story come to life in a fresh way, if not sometimes difficult to accept. I wonder if my experience would have been different had I been aware of these changes prior to sitting in the theater?
All in all, this Robin Hood was still quite enjoyable. It featured the action I expected, the heart and romance, the touches of humor. The cast was great, although Matthew Macfadyen was seriously wasted in a too-small role as the Sheriff of Nottingham. But Russell Crowe definitely gave my favorite portrayal of Robin, and Cate Blanchett played Marion with the perfect blend of strength and fragility. In fact, I can’t imagine a better Marion than Blanchett’s creation. And despite one cringe-worthy moment at the end, this film had very few flaws for my taste. Which is really all I ever ask for in any film. Although now, I’d really like to see Crowe and Blanchett make many, many more movies together. Please please please.
images via Rotten Tomatoes