Yesterday I spent the evening with Robin Hood, courtesy of Mr Scott and Mr Crowe. A largely enjoyable affair, with a refreshing amount of meat to the story. The script plays intelligently with both the folklore and the history, working hard to weave a prequel story for Robin in with a variety of threads including a returning Richard, ambitious John and rapacious King Philip of France. Not to mention the working-class Northern barons hungry to create a human rights charter.
Comparisons to Gladiator are inevitable, I guess, and Robin Hood falls a little short. It lacks heart, somehow, and Ridley makes a few clunky gear changes, missing golden opportunities to please the crowd with a decent bout of air-punching.
All that said, I loved the complex story and the pace at which it's told. Too-cool Crowe aside, the cast is great, especially William Hurt. He's not got a lot of screen time but makes every second count. Also Max von Sydow as the blind and aged William Locksley. A bigger heart would have scored this an eight or nine but as it is I'll give it a seven.
Best part of the evening was hearing how my good friend Pete Riley, who I saw the film with, was part of the team who discovered the real site of the Battle of Bosworth Field earlier this year. Now that's a real historical story!