Saturday, February 14, 2015

Robin Hood (2010)

The story of Robin Hood is one of those tales that’s been retold so many times that only the names and basic story seem the same any more.  You have Robin Loxley (or Robin of Loxley) coming back from the crusades.  There’s a love interest named Maid Marian.  Prince John is usurping King Richard’s power.  There’s also the Sheriff of Nottingham basically making everyone miserable.  Somewhere in there are characters like Little John, Friar Tuck and Will Scarlett who help out Robin, who becomes known as Robin Hood for getting on the wrong side of  John and the Sheriff.

In this incarnation, we have Russell Crowe playing Robin Longstride.  He’s coming back to England from the Crusades following King Richard’s death.  Longstride just wants to make it back before news of the King’s death.  On the way back, he comes across Sir Robert Loxley, who’s dying.  Robert makes Robin promise to return his sword to his father, Sir Walter Loxley.

When Robin gets to the family estate, he comes to realize that the Loxley family has seen better days.  John is literally taxing the will to live out of everyone.  Yes, it’s for the war and all, but people are hurting.  To boot, if Sir Walter dies without a son, the family land will revert to the King, leaving Robert’s widow, Marion, with nothing.  Robin assumes Robert’s identity and does what he can to help.  The new King doesn’t take a liking to this, of course.

You can only watch so many interpretations of a story before you get bored with new ones.  This one is at least entertaining and has enough action and new/different plot to keep me interested for 140 minutes.  It goes more into the history and back story of Robin Hood, showing his childhood.  We also get to see Robin trying to negotiate with the new King John instead of just fighting or stealing, but that doesn’t go well.

Robin is a reluctant hero.  He used the Loxley name out of convenience.  He never planned to have the deception go as far as it did.  It isn’t until the end that Robin is declared an outlaw.  This movie is more of a prequel, setting up another movie.  I don’t see anything on IMDb, which could mean that the studio canceled plans or that a sequel hasn’t been started yet.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one eventually.

This would definitely be a good starting point for people who haven’t seen too many Robin Hood movies.  Even for someone who has seen a few, it will probably prove entertaining.  It did seem a little long, although I don’t recall constantly checking the time.  If a sequel does come out, I may or may not watch it depending on the reviews.

Official site (Universal)

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