Every time you hear the name Robin Hood, you know it’s a man getting ready to burst from Medieval England and save poor villagers and their children from the hands of a tyrant. Well, Russel Crowe’s character in this epic story of love, magnanimity, blood and gore is that and a lot more.
Enter the hero – Robin Longstroke
Robin Longstroke is an archer for King Richard the Lion Hearted. When the king loses his life and kingdom, Longstroke knows that England is tapped out for the royals. He is suddenly spurt out by a world that knows him only as a mercenary, and he begins a journey to find his calling. His journey ends in Nottingham, where responsibility reigns. For in this city is a sheriff that is used to subjecting those under him to authoritarian rule and exploitive taxation. Robin is deeply drawn into the simmering hate for autocracy, and the villagers look up to him to set them free. With a small team of men, he starts trying to liberate the people. At this point, he is so deep in that no detractor can alter the course of events. For his own sake and for the sake of Marion, his new love, something has to give.
Saving Mother England
In a sudden twist of fate, Robin finds himself fending off more than just a power-hungry sheriff. On the border with France, war is simmering, and England is horribly unprepared. However, as the French land on a beach, the archer is on hand with his men, and they set up a clash that can only end with the colonization of England by France or the massacre of a French army. Hood’s army is unconventional but lethal, and their level of organization is quite telling. They come out with broadswords and huge shields, and the level of carnage in that scene is unabating. In the background, Longstride’s old mates, the archers, protect them.
Watch or pass?
You might have seen many Robin Hood movies, but the legend of this generous warrior gets reborn in Ridley Scott’s imagination. There is a sense in which this character bursts to life under the careful machinations of HD cameras and CGI. While there is a lot to the plot to be desired, there is also a distinct feel that the character knows what he is about and has no scruples about whacking detractors out of the way. Russell Crowe’s English accent is not the best, but hey, his precision with the bow makes up for all that.
Perhaps what makes sure that the plot in this movie does not go belly up is the fact that both Scott and Crowe are pretty good at working with each other. It would be worth noting that this was the fifth time the pair united for a movie, and that is precisely why Crowe seems to read imperceptibly into the director’s mind. Even so, the opinion seems finely split on this retelling of the legend, with Google users offering up a 84% approval while Rotten Tomatoes serves up a bittersweet 43%.