Gritty Robin Hood Misses Bulls-Eye

No merry men to be found in Ridley Scott's prequel to outlaw legend
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2010 7:19 AM CDT

Naturally Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe doen't skimp on fights or period color in their gritty take on Robin Hood, but they've both done better, say critics, than this downbeat tale some feel lacks a "beating heart."

  • "it’s reassuring to see Russell Crowe back in fighting form, but the villains here chart new territory in one-dimensionality, the essential storyline is bereft of surprise and the picture ends where most Robin Hood tales—sensibly, as it turns out—begin," writes Todd McCarthy on IndieWire.

  • If you've seen other Robin Hood movies, or Braveheart—or Gladiator—you've seen this before, writes an unimpressed Duane Dudek at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, calling it "a torpid action movie about land reform with the exhausted quality of material so thin you can see right through it."
  • The lack of swashbuckling rankled with Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times. Robin Hood ”is a high-tech and well made violent action picture," he writes, but "it's using the name of Robin Hood for no better reason than that it’s an established brand not protected by copyright."
  • Colin Covert at the Minneapolis Star Tribune was more impressed. "Scott's natural tone is brooding and sardonic, and Crowe (squint, scowl, rumble, glare) is not the lightest of actors.They need material that lifts their spirits, and that's just what the story provides."
(More Ridley Scott stories.)

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