You might describe this movie as “Robin Hood – the prequel”. It is the story of the time leading up to the declaration of Robin Hood as an “outlaw” by King John, when he and his band of Merry Men began their legendary acts to “steal from the rich to give to the poor”.
It is 1199, Robin Longstride (played by Russell Crowe) is an archer and a soldier of King Richard (by Danny Huston), who is returning from the Crusades but is killed in France. Meanwhile, in the Tower of London, Richard’s brother, John (by Oscar Isaac) plots with Sir Godfrey (by Mark Strong) to strip the northern barons of taxes. Robin escapes France with a handful of his supporters Allan-a-Dayle, Will Scarlet and Little John (by Alan Doyle, Scott Grimes and Kevin Durand respectively) and they travel north through England. Robin has promised a dying knight (Sir Robert Loxley) he will return his sword to his father (by Max von Sydow) in the farming community of Nottingham. Here Robin meets the feisty Lady Marion (by Cate Blanchett) and Friar Tuck (by Mark Addy). We also meet Sir William Marshal (by William Hurt) who is a supporter of the dead Loxley. Robin and his friendly followers become involved in the turbulent political times and eventually settle there.
I enjoyed this adventure. Russell Crowe is fabulous in these kind of roles and this is no exception. Ridley Scott has made a great movie which (at over 2 hours) is on the long side, but doesn’t labour any points. The relationship between Robin and Marion is only developing, which is a pleasure to watch and the cinematography throughout is grand. Also watch for Robin’s stunning marksmanship (and the awesome camera-work) as we see the various battles (particularly in the beach battle when Robin fires his last arrow at Sir Godfrey!!). It’s a good, family movie.
(Made: May 2010)