Robin Hood: A PrequelSo, when I heard they were releasing another Robin Hood, I thought…”My God, is Hollywood getting that desperate? How many remakes can we put out?” As a writer, I truly believe there are countless stories to be told – originality still exists. But Hollywood keeps rehashing the same old crap.
However, a co-worker informed me that he thought the same until he went and saw it with his wife. Turns out that this isn’t the same old story about the keen-eyed archer who goes up against the Sheriff of Nottingham in a battle for women and honor – or whatever you wanna say.
This is actually the story of a soldier named Robin Longstride, who happens to be an archer in King Richard’s army during his crusade.
This story shows what happened between Robin and Marion long before they were swinging in trees and romping around the forest with their band of dirty but merry men. And how John ended up king in the story we’re all so used to and why Robin is made an outlaw.
So, I’ll admit, I wasn’t too interested in seeing this movie. I really didn’t think it would be that good. However, my brother wanted to see it and since he’s just gotten home from Scotland for the summer – we were doing what he wanted to do while he’s here.
Between Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, I was pleasantly surprised. Both were very strong characters and their acting was very natural in this film. In fact, I think this was one of those rare movies that didn’t have an actor or character that I couldn’t stand (not including the ones that are supposed to come off that way as per storyline.)
All in all, I have to say that this was a much better movie than I anticipated. Somehow, the way the archery was handled, the film felt like it was different from those with the typical sword and shield bashing heroes. Even being a Robin Hood movie, it didn’t have the same flavor as all the other Robin Hoods. It felt very fresh and unique.
Russell Crowe played a more subdued, calmer Robin Hood – now, I don’t remember how perfect and stunning that one guy was as he played Robin Hood – see? I can’t even think of his name he was so wonderful. O.o
Kevin Costner! That’s it! (I loved him in Dances With Wolves, btw.) His version of Robin Hood (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) – albeit this may not be his fault, it may be purely my opinion on it based on vague memories of the time I actually finished it – wasn’t that good. It was alright; not horrible but not great. Just something to watch while folding laundry since it’s come on cable for millionth time right after Water World - which you couldn’t bear to even fold laundry to anymore.
Ahem. I digress.
Russell Crowe’s portrayal of our favorite Robin was much more laid-back. He was relaxed and calm. It suited the character very well. In fact, it somehow added an extra bit of belief to his archery skills – a man that calm and patient would be an excellent archer, wouldn’t he? I myself have practiced archery, though only briefly. And it’s a royal pain in the ass, although somehow entertaining at the same time. (Until you release the bowstring and it slaps the underside of your forearm giving you the most massive red welt you’ve ever had.) Oh, but the point – yes, the point was that it takes a patient person to be a good archer. Trust me.
While many of you may be raging and cursing, spitting involuntarily at the screen over the injustice done to your dear Mr. Costner here… I must just say (again, I loved him in Dances With Wolves) that his Robin Hood was…. particularly slow and boring. He tended to come across as cocky rather than confident.
Then again… Maybe that’s not it at all. Truth is… it’s been so long since I saw the old Robin Hood that all I can really remember about it is always opting out when asked if I’d like to watch it. There was a reason I always refused, though it’s getting harder and harder to recall why.
Well, in any case, this is my blog, and I like Russell Crowe better. It’s easier to believe him to be a talented and precise archer, while still being able to kick ass if it came down to a hand-to-hand battle. I mean, let’s face it folks, I think Russell Crowe would spank Kevin Costner in a fight.
So since this is my review, Russell and Cate get two thumbs up, while Kevin and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Whew, what a mouthful…) get two neutral thumbs – or more like… hands that are too tired to bother with thumbs up or down. They’re just apathetic hands.
To wrap things up… if Russell would kick Kevin’s ass, I think it’s fair to say that I also think Cate would kick Mary’s ass. However, women are tricky – one might be surprisingly feisty. Though, you know… I saw Elizabeth: The Golden Age, so I still think Cate would be the winner.
Anyway, go see it. This Robin Hood was really good – way better than I thought it would be. And it’s not a remake. It’s a retelling – or more accurately, a prequel. So go with that knowledge in mind and then come back and tell me who was better. Your dreamy Kevin or that bad ass Russell – but be forewarned, you better come back saying “Russell” or we’re gonna have words, you and I, deep, meaningful words.