Plot summary (with possible spoilers): Set in 1199, this film gives background information on how Robin Longstride (played by Russell Crowe) begins as an ordinary soldier in Richard the Lionheart’s army, and ends up being declared an outlaw by Richard’s successor John (Oscar Isaac). Upon this declaration, Robin and his band of Merry Men, which includes Will Scarlett (Scott Grimes), Little John (Kevin Durand), and Allan A’Dayle (Alan Doyle) retreat to Sherwood Forest near Nottingham to begin their new purpose of stealing from the rich (usually meaning the king and his tax collectors) and giving to the poor. Robin is joined in his efforts by Maid Marion Loxley (Cate Blanchett), Friar Tuck (Mark Addy), and a host of wild orphans.
- It was good to see Marion Loxley as a strong, independent woman instead of a damsel in distress. I am not overly familiar with the Robin Hood tales, but I’ve always had the (perhaps mistaken) impression that Marion was the latter. I’m not sure which version of Marion is correct, but I prefer resolute women who can hold their own, so despite the fact that the role was played by the ultra-wooden Cate Blanchett, whom I don’t particularly care for, some aspects of the character were decent.
- It seemed that there was a battle or some kind of fighting every five minutes or so. I enjoy a good action film as much as the next person, but my god… my head started to hurt from all clamor and sword-clashing in this film. How about using a different means to advance the plot instead of just having the characters go at it in every other scene?
- Why did that French invasion scene remind me soooo much of Saving Private Ryan? I’m no boat or warfare expert, but it seems that things would have been just a liiiiittle bit different way back then.
- Are we really supposed to believe that the good people of Nottingham accepted Robin Longstride as Robert Loxley??? They lived in the same town and KNEW Loxley!!! Yes, he was gone for 10 years, but how is it possible that NO ONE realized this was an entirely different person????????
- How did Marion know that Godfrey was the one who killed Walter? She didn’t witness the deed and therefore shouldn’t have had any idea who that guy was. Yet she immediately keyed in on him during the final battle as though she knew there was some debt to settle.
- Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention, but was there even a plot here? It seemed like the film meandered from one pointless battle scene to the next with no thread tying everything together.
- The characters were never developed at all, which prevented me from caring one whit about them. Without being invested in the characters, the outcome barely mattered.
- Was that really how the idea for the Magna Carta developed, or were the filmmakers taking a massive liberty with history?
- The acting was terrible for the most part. Does Russell Crowe do anything except look stoic or menacing by turns? Was the dude playing King John told to overplay his part in a comical manner? Was Cate Blanchett supposed to be that wooden? Ugh.
Robin Hood is not a movie I would have selected to watch on my own, as I am not a fan of Russell Crowe to begin with. But I was watching with friends, and felt compelled out of politeness to sit through the entire thing instead of stopping after 20 minutes as I would have done if given the choice. This film had no plot and was filled with bad acting, and then tried to compensate for those shortcomings by throwing action scenes at the audience whenever possible. I cannot imagine any circumstance in the world in which I would watch this thing again from beginning to end. I give it 1 star out of 5.