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Robin Hood OMG

If you plan to see this movie, and hate spoilers don’t read this post.  SPOILERS!  You’ve been warned.

 

Okay, so I went off to see Robin Hood last night.  I had heard very mixed reviews, and that was what I found.  First the good things — it looked great.  It really evoked the dirt, dark, heat and cold of the middle ages.  The fight sequences were good.  The costumes were good.  Max von Sydow was great.  Russel Crowe knows how to ride a horse.

The script — oh dear heaven — what a mess.  It smelled of flop sweat and desperation.  As if the writers and producers and director just kept grafting on scenes and subplots in a desperate attempt to make it good.

Considering this had begun life as a quirky, original screenplay called NOTTINGHAM that was about the Sheriff of Nottingham dealing with a crazed criminal in the forest, and using medieval CSI techniques — well, let’s just say this wasn’t that movie.  I would like to have seen that movie.

They tried to keep some of the quirkiness by making this an origin story of Robin Hood.  Turns out he was really a common long bowman who stole the identity of a knight.  Sort of Brat Farrar meets Kingdom of Heaven.  But it wasn’t enough to keep it from being just another Robin Hood.

Except the movie never totally committed to Crowe/Robin.  It kept cutting away to scenes of King John and Mummy and a Frenchy Hottie he wanted to marry and court politics.  It was like they couldn’t decide who this movie was about.

Then there were the Lost Boys in the forest which seemed like a weird nod to Peter Pan.  It never paid off, and was completely unnecessary.

There were some nice nods to historical accuracy.  Richard was a glory hound who wasted his time and England’s treasure and get himself killed besieging a castle in France.  John they presented as a weak whiner.  In actuality he was a pretty good administrator, but apparently a man totally without charisma who managed to piss off all the nobles.  Which leads us to the really, really stupid thing.

In this movie Magna Carta was written by Robin’s daddy, a philosopher stone mason who believed in the rights of all men and the sanctity of property.  When Robin and the nobles try to force John to sign the document he gets a writ of attainder slapped on him, and declared an outlaw.  Thus, in the words of the movie, The Legend Begins!

This movie started with a whole lot of writing  in the beginning, which is never a good sign.  In an effort to up the tension it has Russel Crowe shouting S…L…O…W…L…Y, and hollowly N…O….O….O…O when the bad guy is about to kill Marion.  Which had me giggling uncontrollably.

Cate Blanchett looked great in armor, but why she turns up with the Lost Boys all  mounted on ponies is a mystery.

Clearly this thing is set up for a sequel.  My bet — they won’t get one.  What a waste of a great cast, a lot of money, and what had been an interesting script.

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