High hopes shattered with poor plot development and lack of chemistry
I really did have high hopes for this movie. After all, with Oscar-caliber stars like Russell Crowe (Gladiator), Cate Blanchett (Lord of the Rings) and Max Von Sydow headlining the cast, a director like Ridley Scott and a screenplay by Brian Helgeland (A Knight's Tale), what could possibly go wrong?
Give me 2-1/2 hours of my life and sleep back.
I saw this film at a 12:01 AM show...in hindsight, I should have waited. This is not the kind of movie that deserves to stick around in theaters for very long. It's got great visuals, but no plot.
One of the strengths of a director like Ridley Scott is his uncanny ability to choreograph fantastic fight scenes. He pulls no punches, either. They're often graphic, brutal and a wonder to watch. The shortfall comes when there's no or limited exposition to justify the continuous stream of battles.
This movie is melee madness, going hurriedly from one fight scene to another with hardly any transition. We pause from one fight, go to a quick scene where someone either shouts out some epithet or whispers some solemn promise, then it's back to the battlefield for more arrow flying or sword fighting mayhem.
Robin Hood has been remade for the big and small screens at least a dozen different times, often with humor, always remembering the credo by which the antihero lived - rob from the rich to give to the poor, an allegory which could hold some poignancy in today's greed-happy goverment and corporate worlds. Here, though, the manifesto takes a back seat to the battles. Gold makes way for blood.
Despite it's poor telling of the story and dismal acting performance by star Kevin Costner, the less than thrilling "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" was at least entertaining. Alan Rickman and Morgan Freeman both manage to wrest the movie away from it's star and present characters that are not only entertaining to watch, but humorous despite their serious portrayals of these pseudo-historical figures.
Even "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" provides more entertainment than this film.
This movie will certainly develop it's own fan or cult following...and Russell Crowe fans and Ridley Scott followers will cram theaters to see their heroes at work once again.
But this time, Robin Hood isn't stealing from the rich. He's picking the pockets of movie goers who, in this poor economy, are just trying to be entertained for the few bucks they have left in their wallets. I doubt there'll be many repeat viewings.