Robin Hood was an Outlaw in England. The idea that Robin Hood followed King Richard in the Crusades is from the Sean Connery movie "Robin and Marion". Robin and Marion was made in the cynical 1970's. Robin and Marion is not a movie that gets watched a lot (I wouldn't sit through it again) and it's theme didn't need to get expanded in to a two hour epic. The traditional Robin Hood takes place in England for it is the story of the British People Saxon's vs the Norman occupiers. Green is the symbolic color of the native people of Briton (e.g. Gawain and the Green Knight). The traditional Robin Hood of legend wore green for he is part of the pagan history of Briton, not some cynical inner city trendy who wears black. There is this idea that people in the past wore depressing clothing and were dirty all the time. Yet if you look at the paintings from the time of King Richard the first you will find that people wore bright colors. Only bums dress badly in any age.
If Christian Bale, Cary Elwes, Jeremy Irons, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr. or Kevin Kline had played the part of Robin Hood we could have expected a more extensive range of emotions and with a better English accent. But Crowe has a limited range of emotions. Emotionally Crowe only does the self-serving stuff very well, you know; angry, self pity, prolonged contempt etc. Crowe is also very good at being "intense" which accounts for his screen presents and is often mistaken for acting ability. But the emotions required to do "The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood" are way, way beyond him. Being jovial, generous, good natured, romantic or even nice are outside his ability.
In the Errol Flynn version, Robin Hood is bested by Little John and comes up laughing at himself at having been beaten by another man. This sort of self-demeaning humor and good will are way off the chart for Crowe. Crowe doesn't do humble. The character of Robin Hood had to be retooled to be more like the Gladiator so that Crowe could play the part. So Robin Hood the cunning fox had to be changed to become Robin Longstrides the bossy grumpy bear.
Crowe can't do love or Romance very well. In Gladiator they had to cut love scenes out of the script. Crowe can only really do 'intense needy love' or 'self-pity mercy love' but not Romantic Love. To make matters worse Crowe hasn't held onto his youthful good looks in the ten years he's been a star he's really aged badly. Tom Cruse has been a star for almost 30 years still has his looks. As does Brad Pitt. Kevin Beacon who has been in the business for almost 35 years still has his looks. But because Crowe has let himself go so badly the part of Maid Marion had to be drastically retooled as well. The first Maid Marion Sienna Miller was fired from the movie because she looked too young and thin next to the aging and hefty Crowe.
The movie was shut down for two months and the part of Maid Marion was changed and rewritten to that of an older woman. Maid Marion became the Widow Marion (Cate Blanchett) and the romance became a marriage of convenience. Crowe can't do romance. Gone are the scenes where Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havillandand flirted playfully on screen. The unromantic Crowe doesn't flirt well and can't woo. His on screen romances have always been rewritten around this so that the woman does most of the work while he looks angry, confused and full of self-pity. In this case Crowe's Robin Hood doesn't really like Marion (anger) he's just doing a friend a favor by sharing her bed. It's hard to believe that Robin Hood spent 10 years in the army with surrounded by men and isn't attacked to Marion. But Crowe can't play "attracted" there's no self pity in it.
Action / Adventure / Drama / History / Romance
Action / Adventure / Drama / History / Romance
Birth of a legend. Following King Richard's death in France, archer Robin Longstride, along with Will Scarlett, Alan-a-Dale and Little John, returns to England. They encounter the dying Robert of Locksley, whose party was ambushed by treacherous Godfrey, who hopes to facilitate a French invasion of England. Robin promises the dying knight he will return his sword to his father Walter in Nottingham. Here Walter encourages him to impersonate the dead man to prevent his land being confiscated by the crown, and he finds himself with Marian, a ready-made wife. Hoping to stir baronial opposition to weak King John and allow an easy French take-over, Godfrey worms his way into the king's service as Earl Marshal of England and brutally invades towns under the pretext of collecting Royal taxes. Can Robin navigate the politics of barons, royals, traitors, and the French?
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August 09, 2011 at 03:55 AM