After reading a few reviews for this movie on Friday, I have to admit my expectations were average going in, but wasn't it nice for me when I was pleasantly surprised. If you decide to venture to the theater and check out Robin Hood, go into it with the frame of mind that this is a prequel. This is the story of how Robin Longstride becomes Robin Hood.
Let me get my gripe out of the way first. This is the first version of this story where King Richard The Lionheart comes across as very unlikable. He is broke and forlorn from all his time spent away fighting, so it is no loss when he dies. It does make me wonder however, who will take the throne after John is defeated one day.
Now onto the positives. Russell Crowe is Russell Crowe. He is a good actor, plays a strong character and shoots a bow with skill. His gruff voice is hard to understand a couple of times in the movie, but all in all he is the same guy we love from Gladiator. I had my doubts about Cate Blanchett in the role of Marion because the previews were portraying her as frigid, but I should have known that she would deliver because she always does. I like that she portrays Marion as a strong woman and not a damsel in distress. Making Marion a strong woman makes her a better fit for a Robin played by Crowe.
As far as the rest of the cast, I thought that all the roles were filled well. Scott Grimes, ER, and Kevin Durand, LOST, stood out and were likable as Robin's companions Will Scarlett and Little John. There were just enough battle scenes, that luckily weren't drawn out forever, and the PG-13 rating kept the gore to a minimum. The end of the movie leaves this story open for a sequel and knowing Hollywood it won't be a surprise to get one, assuming of course this one makes enough money. For once it might be nice to get a second installment, if for no other reason than to see Prince/King John defeated. He was a real piece of work. A-