Last weekend, my family and some friends went to the theater, which is a rare occasion for us, to see Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood".
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
This adaptation of the legend tries to fit into history and real events. You have Robin as a soldier fighting under Richard Lionheart in France and then returning home to fulfill a promise made to Robert of Loxley as he lay dying. He meets Loxley's widow Marian and her father-in-law Walter, who convince him to stay for a while and pretend to be the dead Loxley. At the same time, you have Godfrey, working for the French king, wrecking havoc all over England and the newly crowned King John trying to deal with this and other issues in his kingdom.
I can see why a lot of reviewers did not like this particular version, as it severely deviates from the original legend. Sometimes this can be a good thing, but in some cases it can cripple the story. Most of the time, Robin uses a sword and leaves the bow behind, only to use it for a few specific shots that last only a few seconds. Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham were barely even villains, and the prince only because he refused to sign a version of the Magna Carta. There was almost no mention of the taxes and suffering of the general people so well-known to the legend, and the only thieving that Robin does is stealing corn so Marian can plant. Only three of the Merry Men are shown, and they have very minor roles in the story, mostly as comic relief occasionally called upon to help Robin fight when they're not chasing the women of Nottingham.
The story itself was weak and did not flow smoothly. Besides the fact that it started off slow then had a brief big battle at the end, there was too much going on. You have the Magna Carta (portrayed more as freedom for the people than as something the nobility created) then abruptly shift gears to Godfrey's rebellion with no further mention of it or to the war with France, which was unrelated. It came across to me as if the writers could not decide on what aspect to focus on, so they threw them all together into a jumbled mess. The story ends with the realization that this is meant to be a prequel or an explanation for the legend, which left me feeling unsatisfied and hoping that the story isn't continued into another movie.
In the end, the movie was nothing epic or something that I'd watch over and over again. I should have saved the seven dollars from the movie ticket for something else.
I give it two stars out of five.
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