I’m not sure how Howard Pyle, author of “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood” would have reacted to the Ridley Scott adaptation of Robin Hood, but one thing I can tell you, in uncertain grammatical terms is: This certainly ain’t no Robin Hood and his friggin’ merry men.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Robin is out with King Richard the Lionhearted cleaning up the remains of the Crusades somewhere near the end of the 12th century. When Richard is killed, Robin ends up taking his crown back to England to return it to Richard’s weak and evil brother John (Oscar Isaac). To make a long story short, John quickly makes a mess of things by pillaging his own people in search of tax money and the people revolt (kind of sounds like what’s going on today with the Tea Party). Robin heads for the “hood,” gathering a group of “not so merry men,” and from there the adventure begins.
Despite the efforts of some of the finest actors in Hollywood (Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, and William Hurt), the movie turns into a two and half hour “Gladiator-type” excuse to tell a story about the never ending difficulties between England, France, and Spain during the 12th century. While watching everything from the tremendous fight sequences to listening to the character’s diatribes, I was constantly reminded of the fact that this was nothing more than a “Maximized” (as in Maximus) version of Robin Hood. Even the movie’s soundtrack had me looking around the corner for the return of Maximus.
I guess I had great expectations from such a fine pool of talent, but I was disappointed. I must admit that I had been tainted by watching Errol Flynn’s over the top performance as Robin Hood as a child, but this is what I have come to expect. Like I said before: This ain’t no Robin Hood and his friggin’ merry men.
My rating: two and a half stars out of five