Robin Hood Ridley Scott

Robin Hood Ridley Scott
For anyone in their 20s or 30s, the name Robin Hood conjures images of Kevin Costner parading around the trees of Sherwood Forest with a distinctly un-English accent. So, any new film based on the well-worn legend of the man who stole from the rich and gave to the poor has to work hard to erase said memory (or the one of Disney's animated fox). Ridley Scott's "more historically accurate: version aims to deliver a Gladiator-style origin tale for the famed outlaw, giving as much focus to the backroom political dealings between Richard the Lionheart's brother John and King Phillip of France as it does the traditional tale of poverty and violence in Nottingham. It sounds great on paper, but things very quickly unravel due to an overtly convoluted plot; you get the feeling that the actual Robin Hood aspect of the film was tacked on late in the writing process to make the film palatable for North American audiences ignorant and uninterested in thirteenth century English politics. Worse though is the lack of an interesting character in a film stuffed with them ― say what you want about Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' campy take, Alan Rickman stole every scene his Sheriff of Nottingham was in and had you cheering for the bad guy. I can't say the same about anyone here, even if Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett do their best with dull lines. This initial DVD release is barren except for a director's cut that tacks on an additional 15 minutes to the film's already excruciatingly long 140 minutes. Far from the sweeping historical epic we know Scott is capable of, Robin Hood falls more in line with one of his second tier flicks like Kingdom of Heaven. Let's hope the hole Scott leaves at movie's end for a sequel remains open. (Universal)