When it's over, the man in tights gets a new look, one in the form of Russell Crowe portraying the legendary outlaw who robs from the rich to give to the poor. Director Ridley Scott's vision of Robin Hood is dramatically different. The tights are gone (has been gone for decades), and the traditional story we have come to know has had some significant changes. Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) is an archer in the King's army fighting in the Crusasdes. After King Richard is killed on the battlefield, Longstride assumes the name of Sir Robert Loxley, after promising the fallen knight that he would return the Loxley sword back to its owner. Upon returning to England, Longstride discovers a plot against England, the truth about his past, and his growing affection for Marion (Cate Blanchette). The film has all the pertinent elements and players of the legend, just shuffled around. I wasn't sold with Crowe playing the hero and felt another actor could have complimented the bow and arrow better. Crowe appeared to be too stodgy, and he tended to mutter through his dialogue. Blanchette was believable portraying a stronger, tougher Marion, truer to who she probably would have been in the days of war and corruption. The talented, Mark Strong, as Godfrey, the traitor, always makes for a great villian. Matthew Macfayden's skills were wasted as the Sheriff of Nottingham, since there were few scenes involving the notorious bad guy. I liked Scott's re-telling, because it offered an alternative perpsective, which kept the legend interesting and fresh. The production design completely brought 13th century into the 21st century. I really appreciated the thought that went into the details of the sets, costumes, and weaponry. All these elements made the film authentic to its time and exciting to watch.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
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