First Night: Robin Hood, Cannes Film Festival
Bows and arrows epic falls short of cinematic bull's-eye
Thursday 13 May 2010
Marking an inauspicious start, the 63rd Cannes Film Festival opened yesterday with Ridley Scott's
Robin Hood. The British director's fifth film with Russell Crowe, it's an attempt to recapture their mojo from
Gladiator, their first outing a decade ago. But while that revived the swords-and-sandals epic, it's hard to foresee
Robin Hood precipitating a host of imitators. Not least because Crowe's ho-hum take on the Nottingham outlaw never comes close to matching the blood-and-thunder of his gladiator. Playing Robin with all the mumbling machismo he can muster, there are times when watching him is as fun as a visit from the tax inspector.
But what really disappoints are the villains. Mark Strong's Godfrey, a treacherous confidante of Prince John modelled on Sir Guy of Gisburne, is watchable. But Matthew Macfadyen's Sheriff of Nottingham barely gets a decent line.
While it may signal Scott's intent to move away from the pantomime aspects of 1991's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the earnest tone means there are times you find yourself wishing Alan Rickman's moustache-twirling Sheriff would pop his head up and cancel Christmas. Even Mark Addy's Friar Tuck looks starved of fun.
Scott packages his elements well, going for gritty realism in the battle scenes (arrows through the neck, etc). But his take on this myth is as chilly as a northerly wind. Crowe is more convincing a warrior than Kevin Costner, but then so was Jason Connery in the 1986 TV show Robin of Sherwood. Running to an excessive 140 minutes, fans won't be insulted but neither will they be entranced by a film that loses sight of its aims.
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Christmas 2014: The three most intriguing celebrity panto appearances
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Beyonce '7/11' music video: Star bounces on bed and films daughter Blue Ivy in lo-fi homage to viral video
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track