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Robin Hood (2010)

September 23, 2010

3/10 Long-Ass Flights

It’s the Nerf version of Braveheart.

Robin Hood is about a 13th Century English archer who has the balls to stand up to his king over taking part in an unjust war, as a result he finds himself locked up in shackles, but then the king gets waxed on the battlefield by a stray arrow (lame) and so our noble Brit peaces outta there along with his band of merry men. So they head on back to London and find out that the monarchy is a total mess because the new King is a total prick who doesn’t know jack shit about anything so he just taxes everyone up the ying-yang. Anyway, at the dying request of a British soldier, the archer impersonates the guy and goes to his hometown to ease his aging father’s mind, and then he ends up single-handedly uniting a country against the evil French while slapping some sense into his new king.

Geez, long synopsis for something that probably should have been more along the lines of “He steals from the rich and gives to the poor, only this time there’s no Bryan Adams.” So let’s just start there: why the hell isn’t that the synopsis? Now, I could be mistaken, but the whole vigilante philanthropy aspect of Robin Hood has always kinda been the appeal to the guy for me. It’s a sweet message, it’s a cool thing to stand for, and that’s why we still make movies about him in the first place. But with the exception of one brief scene where Robin and his buds hijack a tax collector caravan and bring the goods back to Nottingham, all the good stuff has been tossed to the wind and replaced with a story that’s getting old fast.

Folks, I can’t be the only one who’s dead tired of these war epics that do a damn poor job of trying to convince us that they aren’t Gladiator: Part VI – Now With More Arrows. I never saw Kingdom of Heaven because I heard it sucked, same thing goes for Alexander and Troy, but you’d think by now that film makers would either stop riding Maximus’ coattails and realize that movie’s success was more a fluke than anything else or at least try to make something new instead of feeding us the same fucking story every time and hope we’re not bored of the taste. Ugh, just aggravating to sit through all 140 minutes of this when I knew exactly what I was getting myself into by minute five.

Because the story here really does blow. Robin’s no longer Robin, he’s William Wallace without the kilt, the face paint and the mooning on the battlefield, and, really, what’s the point of that? I’m all for reboots when they’re actually needed, but who on Earth was actually clamoring for someone to finally give this tale another go?

But it doesn’t even end with Robin, because apparently Maid Marion never got her fair shake either, so now she’s the Olde English version of Sarah Connor. Again: why? It’s easy enough to ignore for a while, but then she shows up in the final showdown decked out in full armor on horseback, tries to act like a total badass, but it’s such an effing joke. The only time this ever worked was when Eowyn decapitated a dragon and face-stabbed a Nazgul in Return of the King, and while I think Cate Blanchett is usually awesome, she can’t pull it off with the whole Elizabeth shtick this time around.

Nor can Russel Crowe as Robin since there’s only so much you can do when you star in a knock-off of a movie you already starred in. Then again, the script also sucks on every front and the writers really owe newcomer Oscar Isaac an apology for making him play such an infuriatingly idiotic villain like Prince John. And it’s too bad because from William Hurt to Danny Huston to Max von Sydow to Kevin Durand to Mark Strong (who is doing a great job of typecasting himself as the most evil-but-not-evil-enough-for-me-to-remember-his-name bad guy in Hollywood), there’s a lot of talent here, but they were screwed from the second they signed on.

When I first saw the trailers, I actually thought this looked pretty good, but the whole time I was watching this on the plane ride home from England, I couldn’t believe how much I wanted to just turn it off and tune into the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm that my good buddy Fred was watching beside me. The action is fine, it’s not unwatchable and I didn’t hate it enough to give it a 2, but Robin Hood sure came close and I’m having a damn hard time remembering why I settled on this score to begin with.

Point is, stick with L.D. on this one.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2010 4:06 am

    Yeah, this movie sucked.

    PG-13 rating didn’t help either.

  2. September 23, 2010 7:01 am

    I was so annoyed to hear how badly this film was received in almost every review I read of it. I was initially keen to see it when it appeared on disc, now, even then I’m not so sure I should bother.

  3. Johnny permalink
    September 23, 2010 10:35 am

    Kingdom of Heaven was alright, a little long but worth seeing. Troy was very generic/watered down. Alexander was terrible.

    • September 23, 2010 3:48 pm

      Sounds about right, will probably avoid all of them.

  4. Lemon Meringue Copter permalink
    September 23, 2010 11:38 am

    I had no interest in seeing this either, I mean come on, how many Robin Hood movies do we need? It’s not actually the character Robin Hood I’m opposed to, it’s just that it’s the same story all over again, am I right? If you must use Robin Hood, how about he goes in search of the Holy Grail or something different? It’s funny that you reviewed this movie right after Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Much of what made KKBB good (the originality) made this movie bad from the start. There are plenty of good stories out there, why are we subjected to the same thing over & over? I don’t know what studio made this but I’m trying to imagine all the execs around the boardroom table and the CEO is asking for suggetions on what movie they should produce. Someone actually at some point must have blurted out “how about making another Robin Hood movie”. The guy should have been laughed out of the room, the only explanation is it must have been the CEO himself who came up with the idea and no one wanted to stand up to him.

    • September 23, 2010 3:51 pm

      hahahahaha. I wouldn’t want to be the guy to tell Ridley Scott he’s a dumbass either, but that’s the best explanation I’ve heard for this movie’s existence. Just the same damn thing we’ve been seeing for decades now, totally unnecessary movie. That Holy Grail idea is awesome though. Or maybe put him in The Matrix.

  5. September 23, 2010 1:31 pm

    Never heard anything good about this movie. Crowe should have done something along the lines of State of Play.

    • September 23, 2010 3:52 pm

      That movie actually never peaked my interest, but the reviews are pretty solid on RT. Might have to give it a look. That dude needs to step out of his gruff comfort zone.

      • September 24, 2010 10:27 pm

        It’s worth watching if you have the time.

  6. September 23, 2010 3:21 pm

    Ouch, you hate it THAT much, huh? I don’t LOVE it but still I thought the movie had merit. But this is such an honest, well-written review and you made your case so brilliantly I actually nodded my head while reading it. But I did raise an eyebrow reading about your take on Gladiator “… realize that movie’s success was more a fluke than anything else” I completely disagree. Gladiator is a smashing success because it was a GREAT movie, I’d go even so far as calling it a classic… hence all the imitation. I even said in my review that Ridley Scott is copying from himself, but I read somewhere that the subject matter is close to his heart and he’s always wanted to do a Robin Hood movie.

    • September 23, 2010 4:04 pm

      Alright, alright. Poor choice of words. I like Gladiator, and it wasn’t so much a “fluke”, but when it first came out in theaters, I totally ignored it, I think a lot of people did. But then it came out on DVD, everyone realized that it was actually pretty sweet, and then it won a thousand Oscars. Ever since then Hollywood’s been trying to capitalize on that success that no one saw coming and they’ve all failed miserably, including Scott. Seems strange that this story was so dear to him considering he changed so much of it.

  7. September 23, 2010 3:22 pm

    I actually quite liked this movie. It wasn’t great but I didn’t think it was terrible. Definitely a divisive movie with a lot of people hating it and almost no middle ground. Weird…

  8. September 24, 2010 6:26 am

    haha, great review Aidenio, even though i disagreed with every word of it.
    this movie was fun. not as good as Prince of Thieves though.
    i have no clue what that Curb clip has to do with this review

    • September 24, 2010 11:08 am

      lol, fair enough, but i agree, wasn’t as good as Prince of Thieves. and the Curb clip was what my good buddy Fred was watching, and any chance to put up a Curb clip is a chance I’m gonna take.

  9. September 26, 2010 12:01 am

    I made a snap judgement call on this one based on Ridley, and Crowe. It seems I was correct. Thanks for confirming my choice!

    • September 27, 2010 12:46 pm

      Haha. You got it, man. That’s exactly why I wrote it.

  10. Jesse Taylor permalink
    October 27, 2010 6:07 am

    I totally agree with you. It was just so ridiculous how omnipresent Robin was. He’s fighting in Nottingham, he’s galloping off to the coast, he’s up on the cliff top, then he’s on the beach. Oh and none of his shots ever missed, none of his sidekicks ever died. Oh and since when are archers brilliant at hand to hand combat and during the landing scene I thought I was seeing the troops landing on Normandy?

    • October 27, 2010 2:38 pm

      Yeah, this was a piece of shit that just went haywire with the original story. Good analogy with Normandy, too. That was all a bit much, especially with Marian’s involvement. Worst. Robin Hood. Ever.

      • Jesse permalink
        October 28, 2010 2:18 am

        Further more, Robin obviously isn’t a man of his word because after he claimed to teach the lord of the flies how to do this and how to do that, I didn’t see him teach them shit! These lost boys were never asimilated back into the community, instead they went of to fight and invaision with sticks and stones on pony back. Fucking ridiculous, pull the other one it plays jingle bells.

      • October 28, 2010 12:42 pm

        What an asshole that Robin is. Poor England, having to follow that douchebag and his empty promises around.


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