Starring Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Oscar Isaac, Mark Strong, Léa Seydoux, William Hurt, Matthew Mcfadyen, Max Von Sydow, Mark Addy, Eileen Atkins
Dry. Well-crafted. Anti-climactic.
This is Robin Hood in that era following The Dark Knight when studios wanted to reboot every franchise and make it dark, but the “dark origin story” pretty much didn’t work for any other film; think Fantastic Four, Spiderman, or DC’s subsequent films. It didn’t work for Robin Hood either, but at least this film was made by Ridley Scott with a cast of talented actors. Russell Crowe plays Robin Longstride, an archer in King Richard’s army during the Crusades. He, and his merry men, stumble upon an opportunity to improve their fortunes by impersonating lords, but the deceit puts them in the middle of a bigger plot of a rogue royal aid, Sir Godfrey (Strong), and a ruse involving the loyal Maid Marian (Blanchett). The cast is very good, despite Crowe’s apparent muddled accent (I couldn’t tell). This was my introduction to Oscar Isaac, and he’s a standout as the cowardly Prince John. The story is too inconsistently entertaining, and the final act doesn’t deliver, but Robin Hood is still an impressively mounted epic of modest virtues.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-