Robin Hood minus tights

Russell Crowe seems a bit long in the tooth for an origin story. In the new Robin Hood, you will not see him swinging from trees in Sherwood Forest, just out of reach from the Sheriff of Nottingham. You’ll see a somber man escaping the wars of mainland Europe to England, without a home or place to go. Thankfully he has the genesis of the merry men in tow, to somewhat lighten his mood. Director Ridley Scott brings me another historical epic, I adore, with a retelling of a whimsical myth that should not be so. This is a expensive and beautifully shot film that probably should not be made in today’s super hero and CG climate. How could they expect blockbuster? I’m glad for the cache of the principals, to see it done.

With political intrigue in drafty halls and expansive battles in open spaces, I was fully engaged throughout. With excellent performances from Cate Blanchett and her doting father, who chew up every scene they are in. If anything, Crowe did not seem quite right for the role, as he seemed content to let the rest of the cast take over the scenes – sans one impassioned speech to rally the troops for the obligatory final battle. The film really ends were you expect it to begin. The sad thing is, I see no hope for Crowe to continue the role. Unlike Batman Begins, this origin story is for naught. Ridley Scott has setup a movie, that could never continue with cast and subject matter that hinders it, and that is a shame. Although this may never stand out on it’s own merit (it seems a bit to similar to Kingdom of Heaven and Gladiator),  it is easily my favorite film of the summer thus far. This is the kind of rousing romantic, historic, action film my mom would have loved.

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