Friday, May 14, 2010

Box Office Review – Robin Hood

When I was a little kid I watched Disney's 1973 animated Robin Hood way too many times. Most of these viewings were not by choice as my younger sister was crazy about the film and basically had it on repeat for three years. Even at that young age I hated the movie. The story of Robin Hood has been told in many different formats and has been done to death. When I heard that Ridley Scott was going to put a new spin on the story I was happy. Scott's Robin Hood successfully changes up the old story and he delivers a modern day epic.

The best part of the movie is the cast of very talented who fill the iconic roles. Ridley Scott's go to guy Russell Crowe plays the title role and he is a solid anchor for the film. Cate Blanchett plays Robin Hood's female equivalent Maid Marion and makes her a very strong character. Little John is played by Kevin Durand (Lost), Scott Grimes (Crimson Tide) plays Will Scarlet, and Friar Tuck is played by Mark Addy (Red Riding 1983). That rounds out the merry men except for the character of Allan A'Dayle a song man. He is played by first time actor Allan Doyle the lead singer of Great Big Sea. I didn't recognise him while watching the film and I think he does a great job. The villains are played by the very busy Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) and Oscar Isaac (Body of Lies). The rest of the cast is rounded out by Max Von Sydow, Danny Huston, and William Hurt. Everyone is well cast and deliver great performances. Just watching these characters do their thing made the movie fly by.

It pleased me very much that this new take on Robin Hood never feels dull or boring. The movie runs almost two and a half hours and I was sure it was going to feel long. It never does. The action scenes are well spread out and there is a lot humour through the movie. I had a bit of a problem with the scenes flip flopping between different characters and settings, but after a while it didn't bothered me. I like that the movie feels big like a real epic. The story starts at a battle in a France then goes to Britain. The audience is part of this trip the whole way and it feels like a real journey.

Modern sword epics have in the past never done that much for me. For example I own Kingdom of Heaven, but have never gotten more than a half an hour into it. It just doesn't hold my interest. Robin Hood is fun an interesting the entire time. Like a super hero franchise Ridley Scott's Robin Hood is set-up as the origin story of a great hero. The movie makes it clear that sequels are intended. I really hope they happen. I look forward to going on many more adventures with Robin Hood.

A Gold Banana

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