The Dryden Observer

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Robin Hood

I wanted to check out Ridley Scott’s latest epic just to see if it was as bad as the critics and everyone else let on.
I’m never quite satisfied with other people’s summations of ‘bad’. This is, after all, Ridley Scott we’re talking about, not Snakes On A Plane.
My own conclusions are somewhat at odds with the Russell Crowe-hating consensus out there. While flawed in some regards, Scott’s treatment of this classic 13th century tale looks and feels more believable that anything I’d seen thus far.
Conspicuously absent from Scott’s unique ‘prequel’-style screenplay was the sense of playful, swashbuckling fun that has been imbued into the Robin Hood franchise by everyone from Errol Flynn to Disney.
Scott’s vision of 13th century Europe is as oppressive as one’s eyes can handle, with much attention paid to achieving a sense of historical realism, visually.
Kevin Kostner’s feathered hairdo wouldn’t last two minutes in this sodden, plague-ridden hardscabble world.
But as Lady Marion Lockesley, Cate Blanchett radiates a harder, stronger beauty than the breathless swooning damsels of the past — she’s a woman in a real bind.
The obvious criticism of this film is its similarity to Scott’s last historical epic, Gladiator, wherein he uses Russell Crowe to push the same virtuous and heroic buttons all over again.
At some point you just have to remind yourself to relax and enjoy yourself, it’s a movie.
Clocking in at well over two hours, Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood won’t leave you yearning for more. But I was strangely satisfied with the re-imagining of this overdone tale, set in the days before the Robin Hood was named an outlaw, and cast into a life among thieves in Sherwood Forest.

By Chris Marchand

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