Ridley Scott's Robin Hood has a hint of Gladiator, another of his films that starred Russell Crowe. This time, Crowe plays Robin Longstride, in this reimagined version of the legend. There also is a bit of the The Return of Martin Guerre in the story. This common-man Robin is back from the Crusades, having served under the command of King Richard (Danny Huston), who died at the hands of the French.
Ultimately, circumstances have him impersonating Sir Robert Loxley (Douglas Hodge), a slain knight of the realm, to save England from the tyrant King John (Oscar Isaac). This means living with Loxley's widow, Marion (Cate Blanchett), who agrees to the arrangement to save her estate from the Sheriff of Nottingham (Matthew Macfadyen).
Scott and screenwriter Brian Helgeland try to make something new out of the often-done tale. Some of the ideas they float are intriguing, and Scott certainly knows spectacle and how to stage battle scenes, but the filmmakers never make the story their own. Still, Crowe and Blanchett are always interesting, and the first two-thirds of the film are fairly enjoyable. It's just missing an equally pleasing third act.
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