Sunday, May 23, 2010

'Robin Hood' an action adventure for grownups

Robin Hood

By Andy McKinney
Gazette Connection Film Critic

This week audiences across the fruited plain have been given a beautiful movie, an action adventure for grownups. It remains to be seen if this will be a successful venture or not. If it succeeds, it will be due to the unusual concentration of high-grade talent at all levels of the effort.

The script by Brian Helgeland is unimpeachable. He wrote such important and well-received films as “L.A. Confidential,” also featuring Russell Crowe. Director Ridley Scott is known for building beautifully filmed, breathtaking big screen epics. In “Robin Hood” he combines the grand sweep with intimate close ups that allow the fabulous cast of veteran actors to display the full pallet of their skills. The battle scenes are first rate.

Russell Crowe plays Robin as a fiercely honorable warrior in a time when honor comes at a terrible price. He is matched by Cate Blanchett as Marion. Blanchett is a striking actress rather than a beautiful, decorative young thing and brings depth and soul to her role. Max von Sydow plays her father in law and William Hurt appears as William Marshal, known historically as the greatest knight to ever live. Having actors with such experience and reputation to adorn a film is right thinking, giving them something useful to do - as writer Helgeland and director Scott do - is just short of genius.

That said, is it apparent that I liked this film very much? The film brings little that is fresh, if we accept the story line. The story begins just before the death of King Richard at a foolish siege in France and introduces the Robin character as a soldier returning from the Holy Land. He assumes the identity of Marion’s dead husband.

There is a scene where the helpless peasants are herded into a building, trapped and the building set on fire, a la “The Patriot.” Scott has even taken a shot from the 1991 version of “Robin Hood” when Crowe fires an arrow in extreme close up. At least he took good stuff from good movies.

This PG 13 epic will need to find its audience in order to make back its $155 million budget. It has the spectacle of “Brave Heart” and the sophistication of “L.A Confidential.” The three and a half saw blade movie runs a good value at two and a half hours.

“Prince of Persia ”, a swashbuckler aimed at a younger group, is coming soon. “Jonah Hex” will be appearing this summer. There is a local connection to this comic based flick.

I hope to see you at the Sawmill soon.

1 comment:

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Its just a fabulous and it will be success..