Oscar winner Russell Crowe teams up once again with director Ridley Scott (Gladiator) for this prequel version of the centuries-old fable of outlaw, Robin Hood. Knowing the talent of Crowe, I looked forward to this film.
With so much controversy surrounding the validity of the man known as Robin Hood, the adventures and English folklore have grown and evolved over the centuries. While historians argue amongst themselves as to whether there was such a man and what his true identity is, moviegoers never tire of each new version of the tale.
Although no one I know has spoken of the elephant in the room, this critic shall whisper the thought which occurred almost immediately upon realizing the direction of the film. If this epic film is staged as a prequel to the familiar movies based on the famed archer, why is a man 46 years old playing the character? Shouldn’t a younger man by a couple of decades be in that position? Cate Blanchett, at 41 years of age, is also unbelievable in that respect as Lady Marian.
All in all, considering all we moviegoers have been willing to forgive over the years, the age factor can be overlooked as well, I suppose. Especially when given the fact that this film is rather enjoyable and different than its predecessors. Gritty, gray in color and harsh, Hood stands up to the worth-watching yardstick. This is fortunate since the fact that it is set as prequel means that there will most likely be a sequel or two.
Given that Crowe is a destination actor, and Mark Strong is entrenching himself as the best villain since Alan Rickman (Die Hard) viewers will undoubtedly enjoy the action scenes, scenery and medieval castles. With mixed reviews from critics and the public, the movie will most likely do well at the box office, with opening weekend earnings reported at $32 million, twice that of chick-flick Letters to Juliet.
Bottom Line: Best viewed on the big screen, IMAX if possible, Robin Hood is not Crowe’s best work, but even his less-than-fabulous movies are worthy of the ticket price.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, theater critic, and travel writer. You can now follow Elizabeth on facebook or Twitter and catch her as Indy's Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC's Saturday Morning News Show, giving a quick Gotta Go list of things to do in the Indy area, including restaurants, festivals, events, theater and films.
For comments and questions e-mail her at Elizabeth@gottago.us.
--This post was originally published under "Gotta Go" in the West Side Community News in Indianapolis, and the West Indianapolis Community News.