Artificial Continuum

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Robin Hood is a timeless classic that is beloved by countless generations of would be adventurers and chasers of freedom. However, this is quiet different from Ridley Scott's adaptation or more bastardization of the arrow shooting legend. Robin Hood is a mess in every sense of the word. Never quiet catching the charm or the feel of the original story, it instead devolves into a poorly written, boring, cliched, and ridiculous action film.

Robin Hood story follows Robin Longstride (Russel Crowe)an archer in the army of King Richard during the early 11th century. Although a trickster, Robin is an honorable and well liked man, who quickly befriends the brutish John (Kevin Durand). Back in the lands of England, the young prince John (Oscar Isaac) plans to usurp his brother as king. Little does he know that his close friend Sir Godfrey (Mark Strong) has betrayed the crown in favor of an oncoming French invasion. When Richard is killed on crusade, Robin is forced to flee the army, and John is put on throne. John's increased tyranny and oppression creates internal unrest and eventually drives Robin into the small village of Nottingham and Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett).

For a main character that is lauded for his accuracy with a bow and arrow, Robin Hood misses the mark in so many ways. Robin Hood is not only disturbingly lacking in heart, and any true similarities to the original legend, it is a an awful mess of a film.

Robin Hood tries hard to tell a version of the classic character that the audience has yet to see. It depicts Robin as a faith inspiring warrior, who bands together an entire nation to fight against tyranny. The result is something that is so far removed from the original legend that it could hardly be considered an adaptation. There is only one scene in the entire film where Robin steals from the rich to benefit a starving village, and even it is a poorly executed endeavor.

However, it is not only the disrespect for the original myth that makes Robin Hood such a poor film. If executed well,it could have pulled off this change in direction. Yet, Robin Hood is an incredibly boring movie. The film drags its feet for a good two hours with little advancement in plot or character. Scott attempts to alleviate this with sporadic action sequences, but even these fail to capture our attention. Despite some early sequences involving Robin and his band of adventurers, the action scenes are horribly shot and chaotic. Most scenes are incomprehensible due to poor editing and camera work, and the half you can see is uninspired.

Even worse are the laughably bad moments that litter the entire film. There are numerous sequences where the camera will randomly cut to the gasping death throws of a dying soldier. Obviously done as an attempt to add a level of intensity to the battle sequences, these scenes instead are so poorly placed and annoying that they become humorous. Later, Robin has a bizarre almost Jedi like vision of his past. There are even moments where the dialogue is laughably similar to the Monty Python films. Robin Hood is even worse when it makes passes at comedy. While some jokes involving Robin's companions may draw a chuckle, other attempts at humor are so out of place that they seem utterly asinine when compared to the overall somber tone of the film.

The acting is the only aspect of the film that is surprisingly even throughout. The entire cast is competent in their roles, but none really shine. They play their roles well, yet there are no memorable performances. Crowe plays a somber and serious Robin Hood, that lacks the charm and wit of the character of past incarnations. However, it is not the actors fault for the slew of poor decisions that mire this movie.

Another standout is Marc Streitenfeld's score. Combining Celtic and classical musical themes, Streitenfeld injects much needed heart and energy into this otherwise abysmal movie. Despite how good the score may be, it is utterly forgettable, and I doubt I will remember any of the themes by tomorrow morning.

Robin Hood is an overly serious, poorly conceived, cliched, and disrespectful film that will be happily forgotten, unlike the character that it tries so desperately to adapt.

Score: D+


Anonymous said...

Well. That sucks. I was kind of looking forward to a Robin Hood movie.

You better make a new one when you become a movie writer.

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