I’m previously mentioned my irrational hatred of Russell Crowe, so it was with a certain trepidation I placed Robin Hood in the ol’ PS3. The film opens with us finding out that Crowe is not in fact, the erstwhile Robin Loxley, he’s Robin Longstride, fourth archer from the right in Richard’s army as they trudge back home from the Crusades. After Richard gets himself killed, Robin and some buddies (Allan-a-Dale, Little John and Will Scarlet) desert figuring it was hard enough getting paid when the King was alive. The groups head off to England only to come across the slaughtered of knights that were returning the Crown to London. A dying Robin Loxley begs Robin to return his sword to his father. After looting the killed knights and becoming rich, Robin figures karma’s a bitch if he doesn’t return the sword, so they do.
Once Robin gets to Nottingham he hooks up with ‘Robin’s’ dad who ask Robin to stick around and pretend to be ‘Robin’, he’s old and without an heir the crown’s just going to claim the lands. Marion isn’t happy about being forced to pretend to be married to a fake Robin (she was married to Robin Loxley for like, a day, before he left for the Crusades). Robin takes to being a noble very well showing much more wisdom, compassion and intelligence solving the problems of the local lord’s domain than you’d generally expect from the fourth archer from the right.
Meanwhile, Lord Godfrey has hooked up with King Phillip of France to invade England now that Richard’s dead and the little prat John is in charge. The nobles and their armies get called up to fight off the invasion and Robin shows much more tactical brilliance than one might generally expect from the fourth archer from the right.
Some other stuff happens, but who cares. You may have noticed I didn’t mention anything about Sherwood forest, bandits, the Sheriff or an archery tournament. That’s because there isn’t one. The sheriff makes a brief appearance to hit on Marion, but it’s obvious he’s no match for the fourth archer from the right. Marion thinks she’s Eowyn at the big fight at the end, something I just don’t see from a middle-aged noble woman in 12th century England. Maybe I’m off on my history, but weren’t they expected to sew?
In the end I didn’t hate the movie, it was so 'meh’ to have strong emotions approaching hate, it’s just so tame compared to Gladiator (Scott and Crowe’s other history romp). Catch only if you’re a nut for old school sword battles. Which I am… Oh yeah, just skip it. Catch Kevin Costner’s Prince of Thieves or Disney’s Robin Hood, you know, the one with the foxes.
2 1/2 Stars -my review
3 Stars – Netflix prediction
*out of 5