Once upon a time (which seems like an fitting opening line for this particular review), a production featuring Ridley Scott at the helm, supported by Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, would've been enough to propel any property into most moviegoers' most-wanted lists for the year. What happened to 'Robin Hood'? Perhaps the answer rests within the title of the film.
To be certain, there's been a lack of community buzz around 'Robin Hood', pitched as a retelling of the origin story of England's dashing anarcho-vagabond. For a tale revived, reimagined and sent-up so many times, such a hook might be too little to draw a fresh audiences in, despite the grittier tone and A-list cast.
In this iteration, 'Robin Hood' himself isn't. Russell Crowe actually plays an able bowman and all-around rough-rider in servitude to King Richard the Lionheart. It's only after Lionheart's demise that Crowe assumes Robin's identity, stepping into the fallen chainmail of one of the Kings royal guardsmen - and, in the process, taking on a blood-oath to return both the King's crown to England and a sacred sword to the house of Loxley. Naturally, the subterfuge doesn't last - but before he is inevitably banished from the kingdom (this is an origin story, after all), he falls for Lady Marian and takes part in defending his green, rolling countryside from the invading French forces. He's a busy guy, essentially.
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