I'm not a huge fan of adventure films, particularly those of a pseudo-historical bent like Braveheart. So against expectations, I was pleasant surprised by Ridley Scott's Robin Hood which we saw last night. This is a vastly superior, highly intelligent take on the legendary figure placing him in the context of the history of his day. It benefits from a cracking and witty script, great Pembrokeshire scenery and marvellous acting. The grimy filth of peasant life in Nottingham is as well shown as the misery of soldiers returning from the Crusades and the (albeit animated) realities of a sea-based French invasion. Scott spares little of the brutality of medieval war, but the film is as much drama as action, and is all the better for it. Russell Crowe is a great Robin, with Cate Blanchett superb as Maid Marion, but there are plenty of other great actors through the film including Eileen Atkins as the domineering Eleanor of Aquitaine and Matthew MacFadyen as a simpering Sheriff of Nottingham. The film ends before the merry band start life as saintly outlaws, setting up the sequel. A great escape from the week's politics.
This post was picked up in the Belfast Telegraph.