Fri
Jan 3 2014 12:00pm

“And So the Legend Begins”—Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood

Robin Hood Russell Crowe Ridley Scott

I wanted to like Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood so much more than I did.

There are so many elements of the movie that I think are really clever, especially how Scott uses actual historical events to create a new plot for the familiar characters. Gone are tropes like the archery contest, dueling Little John on a bridge, wooing Marian from afar, and a climactic jail break.

In their place is the story of Robin Longstride, an archer returning from the Crusades, who impersonates a dead knight in the hopes of a free trip to England and maybe a small payday. But Robin impersonates the wrong knight, Sir Robert of Loxley, bringing him face to face with the new King John. Things get more complicated when, taking a page from The Return of Martin Guerre, Loxley’s father convinces Robin to continue the charade so that Loxley’s widow, Marian, can retain her lands. Now Robin, a thief at heart, finds himself responsible for a town, and in conflict with the local tax collector, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

That sounds like a pretty good Robin Hood plot, yeah? Unfortunately, it’s only the B plot. Because the A plot is “The Shockingly Bloody History of the Magna Carta, Oh And Also There Is Robin Hood.”

That’s right, Robin is relegated to a subplot in his own movie, so we can focus on King John’s best friend Godfrey(!). Godfrey, in the employ of Prince Philip of France(!!), leads a battalion of French soldiers around England, abusing peasants in the name of John, hoping to stir the northern barons into open rebellion. Both John and the barons are happy to go to war with each other, until Robin rides in with news of an impending French invasion(!!!) and a copy of the Magna Carta, which his dad wrote twenty years ago(!!!!). John agrees to sign, the barons choose not to rebel, and then they all go and beat up the French.

Oh! And then John declares Robin an outlaw and Robin escapes to Sherwood Forest, which means the whole two and half hour movie is an unnecessary and unnecessarily complicated origin story for Robin Hood. When the last title card came up,“And So The Legend Begins,” I actually started swearing at the screen.

It was awkward.

The movie’s not just a waste of your time, but also a waste of a fantastic cast. From Russell Crowe on down, the acting is pretty great, especially Cate Blanchett as a badass, no-nonsense Lady Marian. Scott’s direction does a great job of contrasting the carefree humor of Robin and his men with the brutal violence and grim living conditions around them. The music and cinematography are beautiful. But it’s all in service of a plot that takes too long to tell a story I don’t care about at all.

That’s why I personally dislike Scott’s Robin Hood more than Prince of Thieves. Prince of Thieves is objectively a worse movie, but it’s obviously bad so I don’t get invested in it. Robin Hood, on the other hand, is so close to being a great movie, but it’s really ruined by its terrible plot. And that’s disappointing.

Robin Hood Russell Crowe

Robin Hood

I really like Crowe’s take on Robin Hood. He’s a lot more dour than the Flynn/Bedford/Elwes carefree version, but he earns his gloominess as a soldier returning from war. He’s scarred. He’s tired. He’s lost any faith he ever had that his war was just, or his king divinely chosen. And yet he’s still capable of being happy, when he’s joking with his men, or flirt/fighting with Marian, or, in the movie’s one nod to Robin being a thief, robbing the hell out of a stagecoach.

The downside to Crowe’s Robin is that, like Costner, he’s plagued by daddy issues. At first he’s disdainful of his father’s low profession. Then he’s told his father was a 12th century prototype for John Locke who believed in the equality of all men, a fact Robin conveniently forgot about due to a bout of trauma induced amnesia. Suddenly Robin is plagued with doubt about whether he can live up to his father’s example. Spoiler, he can.

Robin Hood Ridley Scott

The Merry Men

The Merry Men are delightful, and again, I wish they had more screen time. Kevin Durand, who usually plays menacing goofball villains, plays Little John with a little more goofiness and a little less menace. Will Scarlett, so named for his red hair, is a lady’s man that paraphrases John Nash’s dating advice from A Beautiful Mind (“Start with the homely on the left.”) And Allan A’Dayle is played by Alan Doyle, frontman for Canadian folk-rock band Great Big Sea, which, wonderfully, turns this dark story into an honest to goodness musical.

Their collective interaction with Robin is a delightful. They’re not his army, or his employees, but his friends, and it shows. They don’t respect him or defer to him, but they do follow him simply because he usually has a good idea as to what to do next. They seem to genuinely like each other, and that’s fun to watch.

Robin Hood Friar Tuck Mark Addy

Rounding out the group, in another moment of perfect casting, is Mark Addy as Friar Tuck: former soldier, bee keeper, mead brewer, and the one who actually convinces Robin to start straight up robbing tax collectors. While he spends most of the movie as a pacifist, Tuck does take out a group of French soldiers by locking them in a church and throwing in a hive of bees. Because Tuck don’t shiv.

And, in another clever idea, the rest of the Merry “Men” are actually children, feral orphans who have taken to Sherwood Forest like the Lost Boys, with Marian as their Wendy and, eventually, Robin as their Peter Pan. The design of these children is great. Spooky when they first show up in handstitched scarecrow masks, but sickly and hungry once we see them in daylight.

Robin Hood Marian Cate Blanchett

Marian

Cate Blanchett’s Lady Marian is absolutely the high point of the movie, and if the whole film could’ve been redone entirely from her perspective, the film would have won all the Oscars.

She’s phenomenal as the emotionally tough head of the Loxley household. She works the fields with her servants. She hunts with arrows, pulls goats out of the mud, chases off thieves. Bluntly told her husband is dead, she allows herself only a moment to mourn, because she has work to do.

Blanchett’s Marian is no sexless princess in a tower. She wasn’t a maid when she married Sir Robert and she explicitly says her wedding night was “short but sweet.” She doesn’t want to, but she can’t help checking out the hot man who’s shown up at her doorstep to replace her husband. (It would be great if the film had not fetishized her sexuality at all, but apparently we couldn’t get through the finale without one rape threat. At least this time Marian stabs her own way out of it.)

Her relationship with Robin is also well done. It’s not a romantic love at first sight or a balcony climbing wooing past the tower guards. They actually develop a real relationship over time, from a tense sham marriage of convenience (he gets to live like a lord, she gets to keep her lands, but they sleep on opposite sides of their room), to a level of mutual respect, as he sees how intelligent and capable she is, and she sees how involved and caring he is. When they go off to live in Sherwood in the end, it’s not the climactic escape of a couple kept apart by circumstance, but the logical next step in their growing love.

Robin Hood King John

The Bad Guys

Part of the problem with the film is that it doesn’t really have that many bad guys.

King John is there, played by Oscar Isaac as an almost exact recreation of Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as Commodus in Gladiator. He’s an interesting character, half an insecure dickwad in the Sir Peter Ustinov vein—giving a reward only to immediately take it back as taxes; worrying that his mother preferred his brother to himself; wearing a crown to big for his head—and half reasonable guy—Richard did bankrupt the country to fund his crusade; marrying the princess of France is not a betrayal of his country, but a way of securing a peace treaty and begetting offspring; he does ride into battle.

He would have made an interesting, complicated antagonist for Robin, but the film only puts them in direct conflict seconds before the end. The whole “teaming up to beat up the French” might have been fun if we had seen Robin and John fighting each other first, but instead we have this story where Robin prevents a civil war and helps John retain his country, and the John turns on Robin because... well, because John’s a dick.

The Sheriff’s there too, played by a completely wasted Matthew Macfadyen. 2011’s terrible/wonderful The Three Musketeers shows Macfadyen can swashbuckle with the best of them, but here he just shows up to be a cowardly braggadocio, hit on Marian, and then run away when the French army shows up.

Robin Hood Mark Strong Godfrey

Which leaves Mark Strong’s Godfrey as the only real villain of the piece. Unfortunately, for all that John is conflicted and interesting, Godfrey is just evil. He betrays his friend and king for basically no reason. He kills Sir Robert. And he kills Sir Robert’s blind dad. And he leads an army on a raping pillaging scheme across England. And he’s a bald man with a horrifying Joker scar, so he looks like a monster. Maybe if Strong had played the part for pure camp, as Rickman did, or there was another, actually sympathetic villain, Godfrey’s pure evil could have worked. But instead he’s just a man we want to see dead, and then he dies.

Richard and the Crusades

One thing I loved about Robin Hood is that it portrayed Richard as a fat, vain, violent man whose Crusade was basically a campaign of pillaging from England to Jerusalem and back. Richard is not a great man and his return to England will not magically restore everything to good. History only remembers him that way that because certain forces, like Richard’s mother Elinore of Aquitane, begin rehabilitating Richard’s image immediately upon his death.

I love the idea of Robin opposing King John rather than Prince John because it’s both more historically accurate (John did become king, so he wasn’t arrested, exiled, or killed during Richard’s reign) and it redefines Robin’s fight as against the idea of “the divine right of kings,” not against this particular false king in favor of that true one.

Robin Hood still doesn’t deal with the religious and racial intolerance at the heart of the Crusade, but, you know what, this goddamn film is complicated enough as is.

Robin Hood Ridley Scott

The Ending

Honestly, even if it didn’t take two hours of nothing happening to get to, the ending still might have killed this movie for me, because it’s terribly unheroic. Instead of ending on an epic jailbreak against the odds, Robin Hood ends with the English slaughtering the French invasion fleet—after Robin tortures the location of the fleet out of a French soldier by firing arrows into him (ugh).

Nothing about this battle makes the English look good. They outnumber the French fleet, and have the higher ground. Maybe if they had given the French a chance to surrender and turn around, they could have come across as chivalrous and merciful. Instead they slaughter the French. Are we supposed to root for them?

The bright spot of the ending is that Marian rides into battle with Robin, charging into the fight to take out Godfrey, who at this point has killed her husband and her father-in-law, and led an army to pillage her town. She has a very personal vendetta against this man, so, of course, she get’s knocked out so Robin can save her and kill the villain in her place. Because misogyny.

And then King John declares Robin an outlaw. And then there’s a fun scene in which Robin helps the Sheriff hang his own wanted poster by firing an arrow into it. And then there’s a title card saying “The Legend Begins” and I start barfing everywhere.

Drinking Game

This is a two drink movie at most. Scott is conscious to avoid most of the Robin Hood tropes—Robin’s not even called “Robin Hood” until the last scene. However, the plot is so complicated, and jumps around from location to location, that you’ll do most of your drinking from exposition conveyed through text.


Steven Padnick is a freelance writer and editor. By day. You can find more of his writing and funny pictures at padnick.tumblr.com.

44 comments
Scott Silver
1. hihosilver28
I was way more interested in this movie when it was called Nottingham and starred Crowe as the Sherrif trying to defend his people from the notorious thief who lived in the woods.

Then it changed and sounded rote and boring. Still haven't watched it.
Angela Korra'ti
2. annathepiper
As a raving fan of both Mr. Crowe AND Mr. Doyle (longstanding Great Big Sea fangirl, yo \m/), I cannot help but have a soft spot for this particular movie even as I'm objectively aware it's a bit of a mess.

But god yes, Crowe and Blanchett were _crackling_ in their chemistry on screen. I pray to all the gods of movies that they'll do another movie together at some point. They were amazing.

Though it was definitely a weird movie experience to be watching that crackling chemistry front and center and _still_ be thinking "Yo, Russell, Cate, can you guys scooch over about a foot to the left? Alan's back there boinging around with the lute and I REALLY want to watch him"!
Herb988
3. Herb988
Yeah, this movie sucks (and it will never have a soft place in my heart like Prince of Thieves), but it has my favorite arrow shots of any of the movies. Not trick shots against a target, but actual BA use of the bow in combat--Robin hitting a mounted Godrey while he's at full gallop through the trees and hitting him again from a great distance while he's (again) at a full gallop (with a wet bowstring!).
Herb988
4. Amy Farmer
Any chance you could do a rewatch of the tv series that starred Jonas Armstrong as Robin and appeared on BBC America a few years ago? It is better than any version except Flynn's.
Herb988
5. Ragnarredbeard
"Maybe if they had given the French a chance to surrender and turn around, they could have come across as chivalrous and merciful."
Or they come across as stupid and weak. Then when the French get home they'll gather more troops and come back. Only this time the English will get their butts kicked. Brutal and ugly as it was, it makes no military sense to let your enemy land and then let him go.
Nadine L.
6. travyl
I was curious to know how you would review this film, because I was so frustrated by it. Not only am I angry that a movie titled "Robin Hood" ends with "and so it begins", I also found it (= what I believed must be a side plot) overly complicated and several things illogical. Foremost: how do the good guys recognize adult Russle Crowe as the lost son of the writer of the Magna Charta? He doesn't remeber and he doesn't feature a Harry-Potter scar on his forehead, right? (I might have missed the cause, because I dosed off watching it, but that again is no advertisement for this movie).

So yes, I much more prefer Kevin Costner's Hood, though I see the flaws you pointed at (Though I didn't as a child when I first watched it)
Dave Thompson
7. DKT
I never could muster up any enthusiasm for this when it came out, but I find myself a bit interested in it now, despite all the problems.

Thanks for this rewatch. I saw Prince of Thieves when I was 13, and despite its flaws and problems, I have a soft spot for it. It's been fun to revisit all these other Robin Hoods along the years, and I'm tempted to look up some others I've never read/watched before. (The afforementioned TV show, Robin McKinley's Outlaws of Sherwood.)
Herb988
8. celynnen
ditto what AnnathePiper said. Mmmmm, Alan Doyle >=oD

added thoughts:
The Merry Men gel so well together because they've been together before (see Mystery Alaska - okay, Alan wasn't there, but Russell looked like his twin brother, so that's close enough).

I had hoped the "and so the legend begins" bit was a hint that a sequel would be forthcoming. I'm still waiting.
Peter Erwin
9. PeterErwin
... marrying the princess of France is not a betrayal of his country, but a way of securing a peace treaty and begetting offspring.
It's actually weirder than that in Real History, because:

A) The problem with John's marriage to his first wife, Isabella of Gloucester, was that the Pope had allowed the marriage, but forbidden the couple from having sex (they were basically second cousins); of course, it's also possible that John had no interest in her anyway aside from her sizeable inheritance.

B) I'm not sure Isabella of Angouleme was really a "princess", and the marriage certainly didn't involve a "peace treaty". She was the daughter of the Count of Angouleme and was promised in marriage to another French nobleman, Hugh IX of Lusignan. By marrying her himself, John pissed off a moderately important French noble family.(*)

Oh, and
C) Isabella of Angouleme was actually about 12 or 13 at the time she married John, not in her late teens as suggested by the movie. (It's likely that not a lot of people at the time thought this was terribly unusual in and of itself; the fact that he'd effectively stolen her for himself, breaking up a marriage alliance between two noble families, was probably more universally outrageous.)


(*) Special extra soap-operatic historical fun: twenty years later, the now-widowed Isabella traveled to Lusignan to arrange the marriage of her daughter Joan (who was 12) to Hugh X, the son of the man she had originally been betrothed to. Except that Hugh X to a fancy to his intended bride's mother and married Isabella instead. (One imagines that, as Dowager Queen of England, Isabella had the ability to refuse such an advance if she wanted to, so apparently she was keen on the idea, too.)
Christopher Bennett
10. ChristopherLBennett
@1: I agree, what I heard about the Nottingham script was intriguing. Everyone in Hollywood wanted to make that movie because they thought it was brilliant, but then Ridley Scott came in and tossed out the script because writers have absolutely no power or respect or protection in the Hollywood feature industry unless they're also producers or directors. The fundamental lack of respect for the written word in the industry is why so many movies are brilliantly made in every respect except for their lousy or incoherent scripts.

Hopefully somebody, someday, will go back to the Nottingham script and actually film it.

@4: The 2006 Robin Hood series is on Netflix streaming, and I watched it last year. The first two seasons were pretty good, albeit flawed (Robin's whole "army" was just a handful of people most of the time, and what with them breaking into the Sheriff's castle every week, you'd think the guards would learn their faces eventually), but the third season was a mess.

Might be nice to get overviews of the various Robin Hood TV series. I guess the main ones, not counting comedies and cartoons, would be the '50s Richard Green series, the '80s Robin of Sherwood, and TNT's New Adventures of Robin Hood from '97, as well as the '06 series.
Herb988
11. a1ay
Cate Blanchett’s Lady Marian is absolutely the high point of the movie,
and if the whole film could’ve been redone entirely from her
perspective, the film would have won all the Oscars.

There was a lunatic children's TV series on the BBC years ago called "Maid Marian and her Merry Men" that basically went with this; the Sheriff of Nottingham was played by Tony "Baldrick" Robinson, Marian was in charge and the only one who knew what was going on, Robin Hood was a fairly hopeless itinerant tailor ("we should wear green to co-ordinate with the trees"), Barrington was the Token Black Guy played by the Cat from Red Dwarf... and when King Richard returns, he's identical to the thuggish Prince John, to the point of being played by the same actor, and while he disapproves of the usurpation, he's perfectly happy with all the brutality and oppression.
Chris Nelly
12. Aeryl
@5, In addition, that request ignores that nasty messy history of France and England invading each other at the drop of a hat. This wasn't their first rodeo.
Herb988
13. a1ay
Wait, Nottingham was actually a thing? Inspired. Like John Rogers' idea to remake the Dukes of Hazzard with the Duke boys as the villains - just a couple of violent racist redneck meth dealers trying to make a living...
Mike Kelmachter
14. MikeKelm
I felt like the whole things was designed to launch a franchise- as if we were going to have another couple of movies worth of actual action. However, since that never happened, it became two hours of set up with no actual delivery.

Had there been at least a second movie there could have been some good conflict. King John hates Robin because everyone thinks that John is a dick (accurate) and Robin is some sort of hero. So then John has Robin banished, where he goes and lives in the woods and fights back for the sake of Marian, who has had everything taken from her and because he really doesn't know what else to do.

Without that though, it's just a lot of set up with no payoff
Pirmin Schanne
15. Torvald Nom
@5: Surrendering includes giving up arms and armour, which were expensive back then, not to mention that noble prisoners often were ransomed (getting you more money). Additionally, offering surrender means less of your own men get killed, and in the (quite probable) case that you fight your opponents (or rather, their families and lords) again and lose, it increases the chance for mercy a lot.
Chris Nelly
16. Aeryl
@14, Oh, it was absolutely supposed to be start of a trilogy at least. But it didn't sell itself that way in the trailers, so no one expected it, and felt let down by the end.

Much like John Carter's planned sequel was to have been John Carter of Mars, this one should have been titled something else, implying that there was to be more story.

The first one should have been Robin Hood: Crusader, then the next, Robin Hood: Outlaw, and on and on till you get Robin Hood: Loxley, which then implies he's finally restored the peace and returned to his and Marian's home.
Peter Erwin
17. PeterErwin
History only remembers him that way that because certain forces, like Richard’s mother Elinore of Aquitane, begin rehabilitating Richard’s image immediately upon his death.
Ah, I really don't think that's true, unless you have some good evidence to the contrary.

Everything I've read indicates that Richard really was quite popular during his life -- he was the ideal warrior king in an age where the ruling class was a warrior aristocracy. (The Crusade was also fairly popular in Western Europe. After all, the Saracens had just captured Jerusalem -- something had to be done!)

We may not like the sorts of things he did, but claiming that his mother "rehabilitated Richard's image" is projecting 21st Century values back into the 12th Century.
Christopher Bennett
18. ChristopherLBennett
@13: Nottingham was supposed to be a procedural movie about the Sheriff using forensic methods to investigate a "terrorist" in Sherwood Forest -- basically a Sherlock Holmes/CSI remix of the premise. Sounds weird, but apparently it was considered a really innovative script, the first time we'd seen the Sheriff of Nottingham portrayed as the hero. Here's an essay about it and what happened to turn it into the Scott movie:

http://sex-in-a-sub.blogspot.com/2010/05/robbing-from-poor-writer.html
Herb988
19. Wizard Clip
So Marian is portrayed throughout the movie as three dimensional, strong, intelligent, resourceful, and tenacious, and then during the climax she gets knocked out of action so the movie's hero can act heroically, and your conclusion is "because misogyny"? There is no shortage of examples of actual misogyny in films. Tossing the term around when it really doesn't apply robs it of its power and threatens to undermine serious discussions of the matter.
Chris Nelly
20. Aeryl
@19, There weren't OTHER opportunities for the hero to be heroic? There can't be more than one hero? It is not robbing the word of it's value to use it as needed. There is no excuse for Marian treatment during the final scene, than misogyny, because all excuses boil down to "because she's a woman".
Kevin Bolling
21. TexSquid
The French /English difference was not really all that striking during this stage of Britain's history..
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
By the early 14th century, many in the English aristocracy could still remember a time when their grandparents and great-grandparents had control over wealthy continental regions, such as Normandy, which they also considered their ancestral homeland, and were motivated to regain possession of these territories. French remained the official language of England until the second half of the 14th century.
Many nobles had title to lands on both sides of The Channel.
Herb988
22. a1ay
Nottingham was supposed to be a procedural movie about the Sheriff using forensic methods to investigate a "terrorist" in Sherwood Forest -- basically a Sherlock Holmes/CSI remix of the premise.

Good grief, that's even funnier.

Or not. I suppose you could have the Sheriff torturing people and locking them up in dungeons and still have him be the good guy, as long as he said Robin Hood was a terrorist. (With a suspiciously swarthy henchman!)
Pirmin Schanne
23. Torvald Nom
@21:
It's even more confused: King John actually was a vasall of the king of France (in regard to his French territories), controlling a good portion of France at some point, and being at war with him for most of the time. So having a somewhat confusing plot would fit the political situation quite well.
Herb988
24. Wizard Clip
@20: The only conclusion is that the director, writer , and anyone else involved in crafting the scene in question hate women? They may be guilty of laziness and lack of imagination in staging the climax, but actual misogyny?
Alan Brown
25. AlanBrown
I really liked this movie, despite the fast and loose with history stuff.
Although some of it was more historical, not less. I liked having Richard die in the beginning. I will never forget how disappointed I was when I found out that in real history, Richard died soon after returning from the Crusades, and John ended up with the throne after all, and all the English royal family since then is descended from the dirtball brother, not the heroic one.
I loved the portrayal of Robin, Marion and the Merry Men. And I especially Alan Doyle, one of my favorite performers, and while he is not an actor, basically played an ancient version of himself.
The only thing that got me was that ridiculous beach landing. Those proto-landing-craft just defied belief. Imagine trying to row those scows across the English Channel, or even tow them behind a sailing ship. The technology to get that many troops landed on an unimproved beach just didn't exist in those days. That scene would have been much more plausible taking place on the docks of a harbor town. I can imagine some historical advisor standing behind the scenes, stewing at what they were portraying and furious at being ignored.
Alan Brown
26. AlanBrown
Oh, and while they didn't do much with her, it was nice to see Elanor of Aquitaine getting some screen time--she was a remarkable woman, and truly one of the most fascinating people of her time.
Herb988
27. Crusader75
The reverse D-Day reenactment completely took me out of this movie, since it started trying to keep itself within reasonable historical bounds to go completely off the rails by the end. My initial impression was worse than Prince of Thieves. Also, the morality of the geopolitical situation which led to Crusades is far more tangled and complicated than what can be handled with any depth in a movie, especially one that does not actually focus on what the history of it..
Herb988
28. Karen D.
I went into this movie expecting nothing -- so over Robin Hood -- and came away very impressed, for all of the reasons you listed above (including some of the bad). This is actually my favourite Robin Hood.
Herb988
29. a1ay
The only thing that got me was that ridiculous beach landing. Those
proto-landing-craft just defied belief. Imagine trying to row those
scows across the English Channel, or even tow them behind a sailing
ship. The technology to get that many troops landed on an unimproved
beach just didn't exist in those days.

Agree that landing craft with ramps are a bit ridiculous - they didn't even exist in 1915, let alone 1215 - but I think you're wrong about beach landings being impossible. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the Normans landing troops and horses (probably around 10,000 men) over an open beach from longships in the south of England in 1066. The Normans were, obviously, really good at landing troops over open beaches, due to centuries of practice...
David Levinson
30. DemetriosX
This movie flew completely under my radar. To the extent that I've never heard of it. I will say that, a brilliant a casting choice as Mark Addy is for Tuck, and as much as I enjoy him as an actor, I can never see him as anything but either DC Gary Boyle from Thin Blue Line or the sadsack unemployed steelworker from The Full Monty. And the beehive tossing makes me wonder. There was a very nice little computer game called Robin Hood: Legend of Sherwood several years ago. One of Friar Tuck's abilities was to throw beehives.

@17
A lot of the concept of Richard as a paragon of chivalry came post-mortem, although he did have some reputation and popularity as a champion jouster prior to the death of his older brother. However, he had also engaged in rebellion and open warfare against his very popular father (at the instigation of his mother). As far as the English were concerned, perhaps the best thing about him as king was that he largely ignored them and left them to their own devices. Later on, he also increased in popularity for not being John.
Steve Hussey
31. deihbhussey
To be honest, I've tried to watch this film numerous times, and it has yet to hold my attention long enough to get to the ending. As mentioned, it's not the acting, there just seems to be zero point to anything. I appreciate the re-watch if only so I now know the extremely loose plot in it's entirety.
Alan Brown
32. AlanBrown
a1ay, Be wary of using the stylized representations of tapestries as evidence of historical fact. The Normans did land a large army in 1066, but unloading and marshalling that force was no easy matter--landing an army ready to fight from the moment they got off the ships was extremely difficult in those days, and the invaders were very vulnerable during that transition. Horses are especially difficult to get from ship to shore, not to mention heavy armor. And handling any sort of boat in surf is no easy matter, especially a large boat, even on the best of days.
You are right that it was not impossible to mount an amphibious landing in those days--but tapestries and movies tend to gloss over the technical and logistics challenges of such an operation.
Christopher Bennett
33. ChristopherLBennett
@32: Yeah, I guess if you're a medieval chronicler who's an eyewitness to an amphibious landing, you can't exactly ask the army to hold still and pose for a tapestry... :lol:
JOSEPH HOOPMAN
34. hoopmanjh
I wonder if Ridley Scott just wanted to make another historical epic a la Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven and couldn't get funding until he agreed to rename the main character "Robin Hood".
Christopher Bennett
35. ChristopherLBennett
@34: The article I linked to in comment #18 explains the process behind the film. Scott was assigned to the existing Nottingham project because Russell Crowe had agreed to star in it and wanted to work with a director he knew and respected. But once Scott was brought on board, he started changing it until it became something totally different than originally planned. Crowe was going to play the Sheriff of Nottingham as the protagonist, but after Scott was done with the endless rewrites, it had become a more conventional version with Robin as the protagonist.
Herb988
36. JuliaFiadh
@PeterErwin: "(*) Special extra soap-operatic historical fun..." This comment reminds me of one of my favorite history profs. *laughing* You, sir, win the prize for wittiest comment, in my book.
JoeNotCharles
37. JoeNotCharles
"And Allan A’Dayle is played by Alan Doyle, frontman for Canadian folk-rock band Great Big Sea"

That's the first interesting thing I've ever heard about this movie!
JoeNotCharles
38. JoeNotCharles
"And Allan A’Dayle is played by Alan Doyle, frontman for Canadian folk-rock band Great Big Sea"

That's the first interesting thing I've ever heard about this movie!
Herb988
39. a1ay
32: landing large numbers of troops over an unimproved beach isn't exactly easy even today... but it was possible a thousand years ago, the Normans did it at Pevensey, the Vikings did it all up and down the North Sea coasts of Europe for centuries - even Caesar did it, managing a successful opposed landing over an open unimproved beach at Walmer more than two thousand years ago.
Alan Brown
40. AlanBrown
I never thought of Caesar's landing as especially successful. Very little went as planned, much of the force was not even landed, and while the Romans clung to a small area for a while, they achieved nothing in the end.
But I think we are quibbling over details. Was it possible to put troops on a beach? Of course it was. As you say, small units of Viking raiders came ashore to fight on foot many times over the years. And the Normans moved large numbers over the Channel in 1066. But was it possible to put large numbers of troops ashore in good order, including cavalry, with their armor and gear readily available, immediately ready to fight, as portrayed in the movie we are discussing? That is where I have a problem.
Fake Name
41. ThePendragon
Steven Padnick. Everything you say is wrong. EVER.
Herb988
42. Buckeye
This was an incredible movie. I'm hoping there is a sequel!!! Most of these reviews are douchetastic. Some people need to get a life and just enjoy the story.
Herb988
43. riprog
I enjoyed this prequel immensely can't wait for the next installment which i understand to begin filming in Scotland soon.
Herb988
44. shameless
Movie was great!! Just watched it again. All the BS talked about up top,.so it was to be another type of movie.... This was the best Robinhood I have seen.to date & can not wait for filming of the next and really do hope they make it a trilogy.

Can't y'all just enjoy the great cast & great acting.and stop comparing it to others, or about the French landing (its a movie, get over it) and all those disappointed it was not about the slimy sheriff, I am glad Russell did not play that roll, as he was great as he was.

Looking forward to hearing the next has started shooting, especially since they have the location.

We all give it 2 thumbs up and we are talking an.age range of 12 to 70 years old. Point blank, great acting, fun movie that kept your attention.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment