Movie Report: Robin Hood

(Reminder: Booksigning at the Hurst Barnes and Noble this Saturday from 2 – 4pm!)

So, Robin Hood. I confessed in the comments on Cleolinda’s blog that I had a hard time sorting out my feelings on this movie, and it probably sounded like I didn’t enjoy it. Untrue. I absolutely enjoyed watching it… for the most part.

Let’s do the math (points are somewhat arbitrary):

Carnage and badassery 5 minutes in……+357

Weary warrior Russell is a bit of a rogue as well…..+674

(Merry Men R Awesome + Alan Doyle from Great Big Sea)…..+1892

Russell and Cate Blanchett flirtery……..+5365

Robin and Merry Men actually rob from rich and give to poor…..+2024

But only once……-3024

Feudal politics……+57

MORE feudal politics……-157

General Spoilerific WTFery……-1215

Russell Crowe w/ horse, sword, bow, and armor…..+510,934.5

Russell Crowe’s accent(s)……-.5

Let’s face it. I got my $9 worth when weary warrior rogue Russell saved the cat young archer then kicked ass, then got his ass kicked by Kevin Durand as Little John (excellent casting) and the Merry Men went back to England. I joke about loving Russell Crowe in Heroic Guise, but it’s because he is proof that you can play an actiony hero and still act the hell out of it. (Even with a script that relied on cliche rather than character development.)

I would have gotten more of my money’s worth, if the movie had stuck with Robin, Not-Maid Marion, the Merry Men and the doings in Nottingham. I adored the interaction of the guys, and that camaraderie, which was established so well early on, was seriously underutilized. I loved the excuse for getting Robin to Nottingham (he masquerades as a noble, the continues the charade for pretty good reasons), and there was a cool story there. I loved that additional element, and when the Hoods pulled off their first caper, I was really liking where the movie was going.

And then the story had to get all Epic and Important (and historically ridiculous) so they could have a Big Epic Battle Scene. And you KNOW how much I love Big Epic Battle scenes, and yet… It seriously lost something by not staying Robin’s story. Note, I’m not saying it has to stay the Same Familiar Story. I’m just saying it needed to stay centered on that character. He didn’t need to save all of England by initiating the rights of the common man and what not. He needed to save England (and complete his journey from rogue to rogue with a purpose) by holding it together in Nottingham.

At least, that’s how *I* would have written it. Which is always a frustration when a movie is full of so much of what you love, yet it doesn’t quite come all together the way you could wish that it did. It’s still enjoyable (depending, I guess, on your generosity about the above mentioned historical head spinners), but you can see very clearly what might have put it on your Best Movie Ever List.

So there’s my review. Russell, Ridley, I still love you (even if one of you gets a little cranky on the press junket).