We watched Robin Hood last weekend, and it was better than I had expected. I had not expected too much, since the story had been told too many times, and therefore might not have any originality at all. However, it took me quite surprise, and pleasant as well. The film was good. It was not too outstanding, but it was still original, and exciting. Moreover, it was somewhat cool. Ridley and Russel have made it, once again.
If you have watched other versions, you will notice that the story was changed a bit, to make it less predictable, and more engaging, and it works. It was exciting to have a different view about the legacy of Richard the Lion Heart, and his impact on England. It was also exciting to hear a different story about the life of Robin, maybe from a different myth or folklore, and I like the way Russel handled the character. Although he always looked sad, he was still cool and charming, and his sharp shooting and weapon handling made the fighting scenes become fun to watch. It has been quite long since Gladiator, but the guy still seemed at ease with horses and old style weapons.
Moreover, I love seeing Robin raised into a real hero, not just a small time thief turned hero, and I especially love the tag line: “Rise and rise again. Until lamb becomes lion”. The philosophy behind it is never old and always appropriate: If we keep trying our best, one day we will reach our moments of glory.
The fights are quite large scale, and will remind you the kind of Gladiator, Troy and King Arthur, so they alone are worth the money already.
Another good thing in this movie is the romantic moments, when time seems to stop flowing and everything only revolves around the involved characters: The kiss before the fight, the final battle, the defining moment, the arrow that could not miss…
Cate Blanchet was great. She did not have much screen time, but she made full use of it to deliver the zest of her character: A grieving woman who has to shoulder great responsibilities, yet depraving for love and affection and a soldier with strong will and fighting spirit who was ready to do whatever possible to defend what she holds dear to her heart and to get back her life and her love and her happiness. Given her time, the time when men were dominant, her strong will really made a difference and her character did shine. Much better than the one in previous version.
After watching the movie, I checked out Kevin Costner’s version, and I have to admit that, even though Russel seems a bit too old and haggard and humble for the role, he did play it well and the movie was cooler than the previous version. (The actress in the old version was more beautiful than Cate, but less interesting and more minor as well).