Robin Hood (2010)
(Click to enlarge)
This version of Robin Hood is not a retelling of the same old story. It's a fresh approach to the well-known franchise. In this version, Robin Hood is Robin Longstride (Russel Crowe), a soldier fighting in the Crusades who deserts after King Richard "the Lionheart" (Danny Huston) is killed. The king's right-hand man, Sir Robert Loxley (Douglas Hodge), is embroiled in a scheme to kill the king and help someone steal his crown. Sir Robert is double-crossed and left dying in the woods.
(Allan A'Dayle, Robin Longstride, Little John, and Will Scarlet)
Robin who is accompanied by three friends -- Little John (Kevin Durand), Will Scarlet (Scott Grimes), and Allan A'Dayle(Alan Doyle) -- find Sir Robert and saves the crown from his killers leaving the head bad guy with a large scar on his face. Sir Robert gives his sword to Robin and makes him promise to return it to his father, Sir Walter Loxley (Max Von Sydow).
Robin and his friends pose as knights who have been assigned to return Richard's crown to England in order to get passage on the ship intended to carry the king back. Robin plans to return the crown and the sword and then make his way north with his friends. When returning the crown, he gives his name as Sir Robert Loxley and when he reaches Nottingham, Sir Walter Loxley convinces him to pose as his son Robert so that his lands won't be lost when he dies without an heir.
(Godfrey, Prince John, church Deacon, and William Marshall)
Meanwhile, we learn that King Richard has died without an heir and his brotherPrince John (Oscar Isaac) gets elevated to king. Turns out that the bad guy that Robin scarred is Sir Godfrey (Mark Strong), friend of Prince John. Godfrey is embroiled in a new scheme terrorizing the lands in the north of England claiming to be collecting taxes for Prince John. He is conspiring with France to get the Barons to start a war with the crown making it wasy for the French troops to swoop in and take control of England.
(Robin Longstride charges into battle with the French)
It's up to Robin and his friends to prevent revolution and unite the Barons to defend England from the invading French. In return for their allegience, King John has agreed to sign a law granting certain rights (civil rights to use a modern term) that would supercede the rights of the king.
Secondary plot line involves Marion Loxley (Cate Blanchett), wife of Sir Robert. She is dealing with the death of her husband. She had married him in an arranged marriage and had been married for only a week when he left to fight in the Crusades. He has been gone for ten years at this point of the story. Now on top of the death of her husband, she is dealing with the fact that Robin is posing as her husband. She's not happy with the situation but puts up with it so the lands aren't forfeited when Sir walter dies.
(Robin posing as Robert Loxley dances with Marion Loxley)
I really liked the new approach to the story. It isn't until the end of the movie where we see the more familiar story emerge, possibly as set up for a sequel. There were aspects of the story that were predicatable, but that's very hard to avoid when dealing with a story this familiar. All-in-all it was engaging and compelling. I really liked this movie.
I give it a grade of 4/6.
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