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Customer Review

8 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Saving Private Locksley", May 14, 2010
This review is from: Robin Hood (2-Disc Unrated Director's Cut) (DVD)
The title reference is for the climactic scene, a reverse seaborne invasion in which director Ridley Scott apparently bought all the Higgins landing craft from "Saving Private Ryan", painted them brown to simulate wood, stuck on some oars and swung them 180 degrees around to attack England!

But this latest edition of the famous myth seems to borrow from several movies, notably the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (Nottingham resembles the Shire in all its pleasant, pastoral heartiness. All Friar Tuck {Mark Addy} needs is a pair of hairy feet), "Braveheart" and "Gladiator" among others. The plot, itself, is pedestrian. Bald-headed bad guy (Mark Strong) connives with French to have them invade England. Robin and his merry men (and woman) foil the deed but then are outlawed for taking all the credit from their envious king.

The actual history is all shot to hell, not that the average viewer will care. There are some disturbing "Taxes equals Tyranny" references that should fire up the Tea Party crowd but King John (Oscar Isaac) is portrayed more as a buffoon than a tyrant. Sure, he tears up the Magna Carta but we know that eventually, he will sign it at Runnymede in 1215, an act that will safeguard the rights of the nobility and ignore the common people completely (a fact the Tea Partiers would do well to remember).

But there are some high notes and the viewer is gratified to find some chemistry between "Lady" (not "Maid") Marion (Cate Blanchett) and Robin Hood (perfectly cast by Russell Crowe). The opening siege of the French castle is a lot more exciting than the confusing beach battle scene at the end and the rollicking dance sequences look genuinely merry. Max von Sydow and a surprisingly cast William Hurt anchor the drama as well.

Overall, however, this new edition reminded me of a big dinner at a fast food restaurant. An hour after it's over, you don't really remember it. The real Robin Hood deserved better.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 17, 2010 12:37:51 PM PDT
Your history is off. King John Signed the Magna Carta than reputiated it. He declared war on the Barons was died of dysntary before his war was concluded. The fact is that King Richard taxed his subjects to death to raise money for the Crusade, then they were taxed to pay for his ranson. Following all this, Richard began his re-conquest of Normandy. Also, what does the Magna Charta have to do with the Tea Party?

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2010 1:07:03 PM PDT
Only that the Tea Party's main hype is No Tyrannical Taxation while being rendered as dupes by the rich and powerful. The Magna Carta is distorted as a triumph for the People when in fact, it merely guaranteed the rights of the Barons. Same hype, same duping of the average schmo.

Posted on Jul 1, 2010 5:46:51 PM PDT
I knew the history was shot all to heck just from the previews. I've read "English and Scottish Popular Ballads" and the Robin Hood of those stories was not a hardened military man but a hapless youth who shot at the wrong deer, gathered a band of men who fought the wealthy with wit, skill and humor and eventually were pardoned in old age. There are no epic battles and convoluted political intrigue and England actually controlled more of France at that time than the French did. The French really weren't a formidable force until they won the 100 Years War.

Like DA Wend says, Richard was not the benevolent king he's made out to be. He hated England, rarely spoke English and all those taxes were for crusade and ransom respectively.

Posted on Sep 5, 2010 7:39:55 PM PDT
Logan S. says:
"buffoon than a tyrant"

Isn't a Tyrant just a buffoon with too much privilege and power?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2010 1:37:41 PM PDT
J. Heaton says:
This isn't the Magna Carta, it's evidently a forerunner for the story. He was basically forced to sign the true charter in 1215; several years later. Most pictures of the scene show him suitably disgruntled. The charter was reissued over the years in various forms. Usually in return for an agreement to additional taxes. It wasn't perfect, but it was a start.
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