Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Blogging Flashback: Robin Hood (2010)
****REPOSTED FROM THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH NEW EDITS/COMMENTS****
I liked that this discusses a slightly different set of "Robin Hood" problems than those chronicled in Prince of Thieves, even though the characters are the same. Some have called this a "pre-quel" to Kevin Costner's largest-ever failed effort in his battle against suck. This is true in some senses, but it's not a good description, since both movies open in basically the same way. It looks really nice from a distance, but I think the details are a bit messy. Too messy for these kinds of performers and for this director. I'm half inclined to think someone's just phoning it in until payday. This is, indeed, a total Monet.
The cast is good. Filled with solid actors who more or less are giving their all to fill shoes that, thanks to books, movies, and Disney, are very, very big. The action sequences are well-planned, but I did think they were slightly understated for a "summer blockbuster" release, and could explain why Robin Hood hasn't managed to overtake Iron Man 2 in the box office, even though this would possibly appeal more to the aging American population than the latter. The teens and twenty-somethings that dominate the movie market aren't exactly drawn to movies that are more about political messages than explosions. It's why Michael Bay still has a job.
For those of you, like me, who worried that the combination of Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe would feel too much like Gladiator (with bows and arrows), you don't have to worry. There are a few Gladiator-like moments, but they are few and far between. Although I thought that a few of those "few and far between" scenes were VERY much like Gladiator. I also had some concern that I'd be watching a remake of Prince of Thieves where the leading man could (kinda) maintain an English accent… and I was pleasantly surprised.
For those who caught me panning Clueless, this movie looked good from a distance, but they really failed in the details. The leading couple, Robin Hood and Maid Marian were, for my taste, portrayed as people well into their middle years, and mucking up an entire country is the game for much younger crowd. Russell Crowe is a good actor, and I wouldn't want to have him angry with me, but he's kind of old, and it shows. Cate Blanchett is a good actress, and well, I don't really have any reason to fear her, but adding in dialogue about her role as a spinster really doesn't help with the fact that the love interest here should have been doing her chores in a Rascal and eating from her Craftsmatic adjustable chair.
My other complaint is the length of this. I felt like there were whole sections of the film that could have been totally cut out to make this a bit shorter. At more than 2 hours, I suffered a bit through the end and kept wondering when Mark Strong was getting an arrow through the heart. It was a little like having a parent taunt you with your Christmas presents when you were a kid. Oh wait, no that did happen to me.
Little John's teeth. They were so foul I have to mention them, just a little. I'm hoping that was some sort of make-up or implant or something like that. Gross-tastic.