Former Variety critic Todd McCarthy truly launches his new indieWIRE blog (dubbed “Deep Focus”) with a review for this week’s big release, Robin Hood. His review, like many others that hit on Sunday, is quite mixed. I can’t say this is shocking, as very few people seem particularly excited about this film, which feels like such a retread from Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe. From McCarthy’s review:
Matters pick up a bit thanks to the spectacular logistics of the climactic battle; with Godfrey’s men poised on a Channel beach to welcome the French fleet as it arrives to invade England, Robin, the barons and a dithering King John surprise them on the high cliffs above, from which the archers rain down a torrrent of arrows before mounted troops engage the enemy on the sand and in the water. The history-minded will enjoy the wit of a subsequent scene which is consciously set up to suggest the signing of the Magna Carta.
Still, what we’re left with is a fashionably gritty period drama, conceived by intelligent minds and handsomely decked out, but featuring no beating heart or compelling raison d’etre. The very ending, a sort of cliffhanger followed by the title, “And so the legend begins,” makes you want to see something other than the movie you’ve just seen.
Robin Hood will open this year’s Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday, followed by a worldwide theatrical opening on Friday.