Robin Hood

By Mark Ramsey | 2010/05/16

In general, if I’m going to see a movie about a guy named Robin there had better be a Batman at his side.

“It’s Gladiator: The Nottingham Years,” explained director Ridley Scott about his epic new version of Robin Hood.

At this point, Scott’s radio rang out, “Bloated-Crowe on your Six, Ridley.”

Scott lept from his director’s chair and quickly grabbed his director-caliber riding crop and megaphone.

“Bloated-Crowe?” I asked.

“That’s Russell’s call-sign.  Quick, hide any hotel quality desk phone not bolted down!”

That’s when Russell Crowe approached in a mood so surly, even “surly” wouldn’t recognize it.

“Cate Blancette, Ridley?  Really, mate?  What happened to Sienna Miller?  Thanks to Cate, the entire population of 12th Century Nottingham wants to know where the closest Botox clinic is.”

“Tell them it’s eight centuries from here, Russell.”

“Listen mate, I’m getting on.  It’s vital for my career prospects to be attached to a starlet who’s fresh, especially if she’s fresh off a relationship with someone other than Dennis Quaid.  Did you know Cate played Queen Elizabeth – twice?!

“Not twice,” Ridley said.  “There’s no way she would do that twice.  Who in their right mind would finance two movies about Queen Elizabeth, let alone play the role?”

“I’m telling you – twice,” said Russell.  “I read it on the Internet.”

“My attitude is, if nobody saw it, it doesn’t exist.” said Ridley.

“Well that makes me feel better about A Good Year and State of Play.”

At that, Russell turned a full 360-degrees, and not finding a desk phone to catapult, he harumphed and returned to his trailer.

“Attention, Bloated-Crowe has returned to nest.  Return to Def-Con Five,” rang the radio.

“Def-Con Five, check,” muttered Ridley into his walkie.

“In this version of the tale,” a relaxed Ridley went on, “Robin Hood fires a desk telephone at a bullseye from 100 yards and hits it square on.”

We open on Robin Hood playing a shell game for his brothers in arms:

“Blimey, where’s yer Playstation, Robin?!  Shell game, indeed – my iPhone has an app for that!”

Russell begins to burn, but he’s on a battlefield with no desk phones in sight, and everyone knows it.

“No Playstation, but show you my Wii, I will!” he exclaims.

But forget all that, because fifteen minutes have passed.  And every fifteen minutes in Robin Hood the townsfolk gather to dance and sign folk songs.  I don’t know, Iron Man 2 or 12th Century dancing and folk songs – which one of these movies is likely to win the weekend box office? Hmm.

Why, exactly, did Russell take on a role that has been well tread by the likes of Kevin Costner and Errol Flynn?

“Because I was able to swap the tights for a codpiece.  With any luck they’ll have an Oscar category for “Best Codpiece” this year, or at least a Golden Globe.  Say, what a great nickname for my codpiece, the ‘Golden Globe’!”

Max Von Sydow is a blind old man with a fresh, new spirit:

“I awoke this morning with a tumescent glow!” he shouts.

“And I awoke this morning with a high-priced call girl,” said Russell.  “Although my tumescent was glowing, too.”

But in the skies above, something was amiss…

“Aye, Robin, what are those jet trails over yonder head in several of ye exteriors in Nottingham?”

“What do I look like, Nottingham’s Foursquare Mayor?  Be wary, or a telephone shall hit he in yer head, cobbler!” said Crowe.

King John, what say ye about the attacking French armies?

“We will meet them with the pikes of our militia in their gizzards!”

“Okay,” said Robin.  “we’ll get on that just as soon as the entire Middle Ages stops laughing.”

Come to find out that Robin Hood wasn’t the guy in tights stealing from the rich and giving to the poor after all.  He was the common archer who was called on by the King to save all of England from all of France.  Who knew?

“I did,” said Maid Marion, a.k.a. Cate Blanchette.  “And don’t call me ‘Maid.’”

Not only does Cate join the climactic battle, but – like all good battles between nations – no matter how big the battlefield, the stars always seem to run into each other.

Robin Hood isn’t great and it isn’t bad, but – as Ridley Scott himself said:

“Imagine what it could have been with a couple replicants and one slobbery alien?”


9 Responses to “Robin Hood”

  1. TommyB says:

    This is all just ridiculous!

    Not only does the movie try to show us “how it all started” (do we have to care?), but Robin Hood seems to have started when he was about 50 years old!
    In the medieval, that was usually the age when people dropped dead(in battle, in a torture chamber or from of a bad diet).

    Russell Crowe is a good actor, but with that figure, he should have been cast as Friar Tuck.
    They could have called the movie “Friar Tuck: The Rise of the Donut”.
    Then he could do on screen what he seems to do in private:
    Eat fatty stuff, drink wine and maybe sing while playing the accordion. And sometimes work out with hotel phones.

    If I want an old Robin Hood, I prefer Sean Connery with Audrey Hepburn in “Robin and Marian” any time!


    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    And don’t forget the bees!

    Bees are used as a weapon of war for what I presume is the first – and last – time ever!


    TommyB Reply:

    Aha! Maybe Russell is allergic to bee stings.
    That might explain the the bloat!
    He shouldn’t have asked that high priced call girl to spread honey all over his body!

    And don’t forget: Monty Python put cows on catapults in “The Holy Grail”. So it’s just carrying on a proud military tradition!


  2. Odin says:

    The best Robin Hood movie was Men in Tights by Mel Brooks. Laughed myself silly during the musical number.

    And Kevin Costner’s Prince of Thieves was better, in my opinion, because it didn’t take itself too seriously.


  3. David Hernandez says:

    Well, we all know the best Robin Hood was Cary Elwes.

    Prince John: “And why should the people listen to you?”

    Robin Hood: “Because, unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent.”


  4. Leon says:

    Filthy villagers? Folk songs? Scene-chewing performances ? Women of a certain age? Grim, humorless, endless battle scenes involving characters we don’t care about?

    Mark, tell me it was three hours long and there was at least one knockoff “Braveheart” speech about tyranny and the common man, and I…AM…THERE!


    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    You BET there was! What’s a battle without a Russell Crowe battle cry?


    Carl Reply:

    You do realize that “Braveheart” speech is a knockoff of Errol Flynn’s speech in “THe Adventures of Robin Hood,” right?


    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    If I could sit through Errol’s Robin Hood without my wife throwing me out of the house I probably would.


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