Epic battle scenes, hundreds of deaths by bows, arrows and swords, and plenty of drinking fill the medieval, action-packed classic tale of the Ridley Scott-directed "Robin Hood."
Oscar winner Russell Crowe is perfectly cast as the legendary hero and archer, Robin Hood, and his depiction of the dissident is the best part of the film.
Robin Hood, known as Robin Longstride in the film, is at first shown fighting with King Richard's army.
During a night of partying, the king happens upon Robin and asks him how he believes his crusade is going. Robin responds by telling him the fight is not an honest one, and the king promptly puts Robin and his friends in a torture contraption.
When Richard is killed by a bow and arrow as the army tries to force their way into yet another castle, Robin and his friends escape. The hodgepodge group of rough and dirty men aim for the coast, where they happen upon an ambush. Robin meets a dying man who asks him to return his beloved sword to the man's father.
Robin and his men steal the dead men's chainmail, gold, horses and royal outfits to disguise themselves as royalty so they can hitch a ride on the king's boat and return to England.
And so Robin's quest begins as he vows to return the sword to its rightful owner in Nottingham.
The small village of Nottingham is where Robin meets Lady Marion Loxley, played by Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, who is excellent as a woman struggling to keep her farm going while scaring away tax collectors and suitors as she awaits her husband to return from a long-fought war.
The film has some great performances, including Max von Sydow, who portrays the blind but proud Sir Walter Loxley, Marion's father-in-law. The scenes between Walter and Robin are some of the best in the film as Robin learns who his father really was.
Godfrey (Mark Strong) is impressively evil as the king's friend who turns out to be a sinister one.
Prince John (Oscar Isaac), who becomes a king after his brother Richard dies, portrays a great ego-driven king who knows what he wants with women, war and his dealings with his kingdom.
I did find some of the battle scenes dizzying, and wish some of the scenes were either shown farther away or slower.
Although the movie made me long for a shower, the battle scenes, the characters and the authenticity of 13th century England made for an interesting tale of adventure and the common people overcoming injustices.
The film will bring a thirst for shooting a bow and arrow, riding a horse and wearing a chainmail suit to fight off your enemies.
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Rating: PG-13 for violence including intense sequences of warfare, and some sexual content.
Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac
Running time: 140 min.