Well made but dry
The main disappointment about this film is that it starts off so strong. The beginning is so promising, with action and perfect character development. However, it does not maintain its excellence throughout the course of the film. When each of the characters are introduced, they are in such a way that the audience forms an emotional opinion about each one of them. For example, Prince John is in his very first scene obnoxious, immature and crude, exactly the way you would expect and want Prince John to be. Although he is so vulgar, it is almost exciting to see such a strong first impression of a character. Unfortunately, the film isn't constructed in its entirety to maintain this strong opinion. This is no fault of the actors, but more of the scriptwriters and Scott as more effort should have been put into ensuring that the audience maintains an emotional connection to the characters. The actors definitely do all they can with the roles they are given. Russell Crowe is a perfect Robin Hood. He is an unlikely hero who is rough around the edges, but still shows his vulnerability and soft side. Cate Blanchett is also beautiful as Lady Marian and is also a lady, but definitely rough around the edges just like Crowe. Therefore, these two have a great on screen chemistry, but again, there is not enough to show how these two fell so deeply in love. It feels like it happened quite suddenly. Mark Strong is great as Sir Godfrey and Oscar Isaac is also very good as Prince John.
However, there is no denying that "Robin Hood" is a well made film. Medieval England and France are recreated so beautifully. The scenery is breathtaking and the way in which it is captured on film is commendable. Scott's choice of settings for each scene is perfect, especially for the battle scenes. The editing is also very well done and the score is perfectly suited to every scene that it accompanies. It should also be mentioned that Scott does not fall into the trap that many other films about this era do, he does not cave into the idea that medieval England was glamorous. The wilderness is still a rugged place and only the king and queen have costumes which could be considered fashionable. It is definitely not the way the film is made that is the let down, but rather the way the story is carried out. Despite the majority of the audience knowing what the outcome will be, there is still no suspense or tension. Although the film is 2 ½ hours long, it does not feel that long and it is actually confusing why so little is accomplished in this time.
This latest adaptation of the Robin Hood legend is nowhere near as powerful as what it should be. It could be so much more, but instead is just very soft and dry. It is still a good watch, as there is some impeccable acting and cinematography. Adventure lovers will enjoy seeing this film, as will fans of Crowe's work.