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Archive for May 2010

Robin Hood ***

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Who, for ten years, has prevented Ridley Scott from making decent films? I want their blood. Once the powerhouse behind some of the most incredibly nuanced, deep, insightful, worlded fiction on film, Scott has become slave to a formula regurgitated from Gladiator, stripped of all aesthetic originality or basic narrative intrigue, and projected at such high resolution you can hardly discern any substance at all. The images, often phenomenally beautiful, remain; the worlds of imagination are conspicuously absent.

From the opening minutes, Robin Hood asserts its fidelity (or at least, resemblance) to historical context: not a problem betwixt forgivable anachronisms aplenty; but a fatal blow considering its central thesis (that Robin of Hood be a proto-republican, sired by the first democratic revolutionary, in the most heavy-handed play at that venomous siren: contemporary relevance). True, Robin has always been a legendary folk hero, an indigenous myth; but how can Scott keep his audience credulous to this preposterous politicisation; or worse, the increasingly unlikely sequence of coincidences characteristic of such fables (integral to their incredible plots) after such an onslaught of medieval realism? Fables cannot be so brutally literal.

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Written by James P. Campbell

12/05/2010 at 19:27