I begin this review with a sigh… Ridley Scott’s latest action-adventure ride Robin Hood starring Russel Crowe and Cate Blanchett has a number of amazing aspects to it, but as a whole it’s just not enjoyable. These are the reviews I hate because I can see the craftsmanship that went into the film and I want to love it, but I don’t. Technically all the pieces are there, it was well made, well put together, but with a run-time of 140 minutes and too many details, it felt like sitting through a partially real history lesson with some amazing action sequences.
Lets take a deeper look inside…
- Director: Ridley Scott
- Writers: Screenplay by Brian Helgeland and story by Brian Helgeland, Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris
- Producer: Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe and Brian Grazer
- Actors: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston, Kevin Durand, Matthew Macfadyen, Mark Addy and Scott Grimes
- Music by: Marc Streitenfeld
- Cinematography by: John Mathieson
- The Shots: The wide shots of the cavalry riding their horses along the edges of the mountains and going into battle are stunning. Overall the film had a beautiful Renaissance tone to it and the texture of the visuals were so rich that you felt immersed in the world and heavily in need of a shower when it was over.
- The Details: If you’re a fan of history, you’re in luck! You’ll get a free (slight inaccurate) history lesson! If there’s one thing this film isn’t missing it’s lots of historical references and good ol’ fashioned lore for you to follow! Sadly all the details do lead to some problems (See “Too Many Facts”).
- The Action: As much as I HATE watching horses flip over, there were some impressive fight sequences and the grand finale was quite enjoyable.
- Set-Up: I don’t know if this is a good thing, but they did set it up for a solid sequel despite the fact that all the set up itself was rather dull.
- Run-time: The film was 2 hours and 20 minutes and I felt every single one of them… especially at the midway point. There’s just no need for a film to be this long. Yes there were a lot of details, but find a more clever way of adding them all or leave them out!
- Too Many Facts… That were not always 100% accurate. Example A: King Richard only ever spoke French because he was too lazy and conceited to learn English. In fact he even publicly called it a “lesser language.” In the film, many people speak French but not the King. Overall there were a LOT of facts (some of which were accurate) and references that you knew were important but couldn’t keep completely straight unless you attend the Renaissance Fair yearly and are obsessed with this time.
- The Relationship: I hate saying this because I think Crowe is an amazing actor and I’d gladly bow down to Blanchett, but I didn’t buy the build between Marion and Robin. It felt like one minute things were one way and the next thing we know they’re in love! For all the details added, it seemed like we missed out on something between the two of them.
- Bland: This movie is just that and sadly for an “action-adventure” film, this is one of the worst things for it to be.
The hard part about critiquing this movie is that it is by no means a bad movie, it has all the right elements, but it’s just boring. It’s basically just one long set up for a sequel I would like to see, but an experience I could have done without.
Robin Hood will be in theaters May 14th!