Rating: PG-13 and Unrated
Directed by Ridley Scott
Includes DVD Copy Of Robin Hood
Includes Digital Copy Of Robin Hood For Portable Media Players
“Academy Award winner Russell Crowe and visionary director Ridley Scott (‘Gladiator’) reunite for the untold story of the man behind the legend. In an age of oppression and shameless tyranny, an outlaw becomes the unlikely hero that saves a nation and inspires generations to fight for freedom.”
“Robin Hood” is rated PG-13 for violence including intense sequences of warfare, and some sexual content
And like in “Batman Begins,” we see a grittier, more realistic telling of the story. When people are shot with arrows or sliced by swords, there is blood. The costumes and sets are more historically accurate (or at least it seems that way). They also take liberties with the legend – King Richard is killed early on and Prince John quickly becomes King John. We see a lot more of the politics leading up to the terrible situation and more religious commentary. The result is less pulp adventure and more historical drama.
As you would expect, the performances are excellent. Russell Crowe is good as Robin Longstride. His action scenes are impressive and his scenes flirting with Cate Blanchett as Marion Loxley are a lot of fun. The two of them are different from a lot of previous versions of their characters because they’re both in their 40’s. I don’t recall Marion being as realistic as she’s portrayed in this version. They’re backed up by an excellent cast that includes Max von Sydow as Sir Walter Loxley, William Hurt as William Marshal, Mark Strong as Godrey, and Danny Huston as King Richard the Lionheart. Kevin Durand also finally gets a chance to play a hero as Little John.
The only marks against “Robin Hood” is that it is pretty long. It clocks in at over 2 and a half hours and it starts to feel more like a mini-series than a feature film. And thanks to a lot of the political intrigue necessary for the setup, it can drag on at times. The ending also seems a bit rushed. Robin going into hiding with his Merry Men is practically a footnote to the film. Marion also riding into battle in the finale seems quite forced.
If you’d like to see a good period action drama, then “Robin Hood” will fit the bill. Fans of Ridley Scott, Crowe and Blanchett will also want to check it out.
This Blu-ray set includes a DVD and digital copy of the film. You also get the theatrical and unrated director’s cut of the film. The director’s cut is 15 minutes longer than the theatrical one. The highlight of the bonus features is a documentary covering pre-production, production, and post-production. You get detailed looks at the costuming, sets, locations, props, filming, and more. Crowe and Scott also discuss their strategies for re-imagining Robin Hood. Also included are some deleted scenes, art galleries, and the “Director’s Notebook.” In the “Director’s Notebook” you can watch the film and at key scenes it jumps out and shows little featurettes with Ridley Scott. Overall it’s a pretty comprehensive look at the making of the movie.