Thursday, November 04, 2010
Review: Robin Hood
What does it mean?
It means never give up."
I saw this film on its opening night earlier this year, and it was far from what I expected. At the time, it left a bitter aftertaste, if only because I was pining for another Gladiator. Ridley Scott and Russel Crowe were together again, and I hoped for magnificence. I was disappointed.
Watching this again last night, I loved it.
This is the precursor to the Robin Hood of legend, the story of a man disgruntled by the tyranny of Richard the Lion heart in the crusades, who returns home bearing the sword of a noble's dead son. The sword is the key to rekindling memories of who Robin Locksley was before he was a soldier, which for purposes of spoilers I will leave to you to figure out.
As the story progresses, the tyranny of the monarchy is ever increasing, the political intrigue of the Northern Barrons and the Crown thickens, and France moves to invade across the channel. Cries of anguish resound from the people, yet they know not what they demand, other then a change of governance. Locksley steps forward, bearing what is understood to be the Magna Carta, and lays forth a foundation for enduring liberty that is accepted by the monarch and the nobles. It is remarkable how refreshing it is to see an uncompromising hero for the rights of individuals and liberty.
The final battle on the shores of southern England is almost horrific. After the compromise that leads to the Magna Carta it really hurts the film. Prince John riding into battle with Robin and other counselors. Robin's 'pretend' (watch the movie for an explanation) wife. The lost boys of Nottingham. Some medieval version of D-Day by the french.
None of this is necessary, nor is it helpful, and after the intricate story line developed up to this point it is only painful to watch.
That all being said, I enjoyed this movie immensely, and will likely watch it multiple times in the years to come. A man's movie with a hero who is, in fact, a hero. Honest, as well as brave.