Dave White
Robin Hood Review

Dave's Rating:

3.0

Gladiator + chain mail + tax rebellion

Who's In It: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston, Eileen Atkins, Mark Addy, Matthew Macfadyen, Lea Seydoux

The Basics: Did you know his last name was Longstride? Me neither. But that's what you learn from this superhero origin story. The other stuff you learn is that he's a moody sort, hates injustice, has daddy issues, is a bow-and-arrow sniper and is strong enough to break up statues made of stone just by banging them with his sword. He's a great public speaker who can loudly inspire hundreds to march bravely into battle and he's also really, really into venison. In fact, the whole point of this movie seems to be that everyone should be allowed to hunt deer and not be taxed so heavily. And if that sounds a little too Tea Party for you then you should also know that, according to Robin and his lefty Lady Marion, their version of anti-King utopia also involves an equal distribution of wealth where "no one is rich or poor." Something for every political taste.

What's The Deal: I kind of miss the swashbuckling, grinning, horny, swing-from-ropes-and-wave-his-big-sword-around Errol Flynn version of this guy. He was definitely a jauntier Robin Hood. So was the cartoon fox version. But if you can get with this stoic, gray, grumpy-faced Robin and his band of comparably merry men, a crew further tempered by a ball-busting Marian who's pretty ninja with a sword herself, then you're going to have a decent time of it. I did. And it's a Ridley Scott spectacle, so that means everybody's all serious, the Angelic Voice Soundtrack Lady is whoooing over the soaring music, you get big shots where hundreds of extras are fighting in chain mail and the script is corny and filled with heroic catchphrases. But you know that already. If you don't want a chillier, wetter Gladiator then why are you even thinking of buying a ticket?

Weird Thing That's Never Explained: Robin comes home from war, delivering to Sir Walter Loxley (von Sydow) the sword of his deceased son, who was also Marian's husband. In order for Marian not to lose her land, they convince Robin to pose as Loxley Jr. And no one in the village has a thing to say about the guy with the new face. So you can add mass-hypnotism to Robin's skill set because everyone's just like, "Oh, great to have you home!"

You Will Be Forgiven For Thinking Repeatedly Of: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, especially when the French show up to fight. If you're like me you'll be mentally inserting fart jokes and "English pig-dog!" into the battle scenes. And I think not casting John Cleese or Michael Palin in a small role was a misstep.

Curiously Repeated Motif: Penis jokes. ("I'm proportionate!" shouts Little John. No lie.) Like all the swords aren't enough?

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