Admit it. You’ve been waiting for another movie about Robin Hood.
Not exactly? Well, surely you’ve wanted to see Russell Crowe beat up people with objects other than phones for the sake of entertainment, right?
It’s OK to admit you didn’t have that much desire to see this movie until you saw the cool, action-packed trailer featuring an arrow-wielding Crowe kicking bad-guy butt. I confess to being at least a little intrigued at the thought of seeing an intense, well-done epic film of the English folklore hero.
Unfortunately, the movie’s aim was way, way off the mark.
Neither intense nor well done, this version of “Robin Hood” was too dull to make an impact in most every way.
The first and primary problem with the film would have to be the story itself, written for the screen by Brian Helgeland. Maybe it was just me, but the whole movie seemed to be sloppily thrown together, with the conflicts and motives for the action and battles being relatively unclear. It was hard to follow the reasons behind the fighting on screen, and why the audience should care.
Which leads to the second problem with “Robin Hood.” It didn’t seem like anyone in the film cared much about the effort they put forth as professional actors. Which makes it hard for the viewer to invest much emotion and interest into the story.
There were very few moments capable of eliciting a human response of any kind, whether it be laughter, sympathy or just enjoyment.
I walked out of the movie feeling nothing. No joy. No perspective. No feeling of being entertained for the previous two hours and 20 minutes.
Director Ridley Scott has worked on some very emotionally effective films in the past (“American Gangster,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator,” “Alien”) — films that made you respond in some way, shape or form ““ but this is not one of them.
The easiest person to point the blame on for audiences is going to be its star, Russell Crowe. I’ve seen corpses give more passionate performances. Seriously — Terry Kiser playing the dead title character in “Weekend at Bernie’s” gave more effort than Crowe did here. When the next edition of Webster’s Dictionary of Hollywood Terms comes out, I’m pretty confident this role will be the first example listed under the “phoning it in” entry.
Crowe is a fine enough actor, but I’m not sure the material here is strong enough for anyone to really shine in this.
Not even if Bryan Adams were on the soundtrack singing “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.”
Joel Sensenig is news editor of the Review Times. He prefers to do his bashing of Russell Crowe with at least several thousand miles between himself and the actor.