Fellow Movie Lovers
If you worship at the alter of The Spectacle your prayers have been heard and answered in spades.
For those who relish the spectacular, sensational epic: “ The Ten Commandments”, “Spartacus” , “ Ben Hur”, “ Cleopatra”, whose thirst for blood and gore is insatiable, Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” delivers on all levels: gorgeously filmed, marvelously acted, and a thousand arrows for as many bodies. For the spectacle disciple, heavenly bliss is rained upon you.
That being said it is flawed by historic inaccuracies, a meandering plot lost in the forest and twenty minutes too long. Russell Crowe as the myth in the making creates a tough, sensitive, dynamic Robin and fills the screen with enough testosterone to satisfy the taste of any viewer. He surpasses his Robin predecessors: Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn, Richard Todd, Sean Connery; but Crowe, as adroit as he is, cannot steal the crown, firmly attached to the head of Kevin Costner, the undisputed King of Sherwood Forest.
Cate Blanchett dazzles as Maid Marion; the perfect blend of Joan of Arc and Annie Oakley; she is in command of her life, body and lands. There have been some lovely Maid Marion’s: Enid Bennett, Joan Rice, Audrey Hepburn, Uma Thurman but Blanchett is Robin’s match in mettle and true grit. The screen pulsates with her fire and energy. Their courtship is the melding of two strong wills destined for a marriage greater than the sum of its parts.
Who is Robin Hood? In actuality he is a potpourri of fictional to real life outlaws, first surfacing between 1194-1400 AD: (Robert Hod, a fugitive, Robert of Wetherby, Robyn Hood, porter to King Edward II, 1324). The first literary reference can be found in B-Text of Piers Plowman (1377). He is heralded in various ballads commencing in 1450; the legend magnified and embellished with each telling.
Taking from the rich to enrich the poor has lost some of its romantic vigilantism; achieving legitimate status in many cultures. Robin Hood continues to titillate, excite and woo audiences into a fantasy world where yeoman or princes can triumph and save the day!
TWO & ½ STARS