Posts Tagged ‘robin hood’

Robin Hood, with spoilers

Monday, May 17th, 2010

The road to this particular Sherwood was a tangled one. A spec script entitled NOTTINGHAM got the ball rolling back in 2005; Crowe signed on to play a revisionist detective-Sheriff, with Robin Hood as a bit of a rogueish lech, and Guy of Gisbourne carrying all the Bad Guy Baggage. At some point along the way, Crowe decided he wanted to be the Man in Green—or maybe the producers just realized that a $200 million movie entitled ROBIN HOOD was the safer bet.

Yet the movie’s somewhat-unorthodox roots are evident on the screen all the same. I particularly appreciated the early elimination of King Richard—so often the Deus Ex Machina in these tales, here we see him as an out-of-control brigand-king who gets what he Fucking Deserves before the audience has had a chance to start in on the popcorn. Things from there got a little tangled—while I appreciated the high politics and mistaken identities and maneuverings, the whole Magna Carta link started to feel like a bridge too far, and left me wondering what the movie would have been like had it simply stuck to a narrower Robin-Hood-as-Odysseus-trying-to-get-back-home.

Of course, if that were the case, it would have been tough to have all those castles and setpieces–and that was one hell of a final battle with the French on the Dover coast, finally answering the question of just why so much trailer footage showed horses riding around on beaches. Though in real life the only ancient/medieval invasion ever contested on a beach was Julius Caesar’s. And what I wouldn’t give to see THAT up on the big-screen…