Robin Hood

If you think you know the tale of Robin Hood in its entirety, think again. A prequel to the traditional story, “Robin Hood” provides the long awaited history of the most classic of well-intentioned thieves and his band of men…who are merry.
Starring Russell Crowe as the lead of Robin Longstride, we see a character that is slightly different than Crowe’s most historic role (in “Gladiator”). But stealing the show is Cate Blanchett as the powerful and strong, yet subtle, Maid Marion Loxley. Other sure-to-be favorites include the beekeeping Friar Tuck played by “The Full Monty’s” Mark Addy and Kevin Durand as the hammer wielding (not so) Little John.

I have to admit, I was reluctant to see this film. Did I really want to watch Russell Crowe lead a small group against wildly impossible odds, again? After having seen “Robin Hood”, the answer is “Yes!” Sure, there is another team of rag-tag characters to battle on behalf of good, but this time they are likeable takes on the merry men of my childhood, with a more historic and adult perspective. The result is simply amusing.

And “Robin Hood” exceeds expectations in the simple details with accurate costumes, well-understood historic locations, and a number of short but sweet fight sequences. The film was so detailed I already plan to be Internet searching away through my next viewing to see how the historic places exposed throughout the film look today. Film students will surely rejoice.

Had I not known the original story to the finest detail, “Robin Hood” might have been a believable tale. The film’s major conflicts all stem from realistic challenges such as food shortages and burdensome taxation. Is it possible that “Robin Hood” will strike a chord of relevance to current economic concerns? Maybe not, but it will be a fun time at the movies.

4 out of 5 stars