It took me about a decade to get over Braveheart. Any thing in the ballpark of historical epic utterly failed in my eyes, simply because it wasn't the tale of William Wallace (and his uncle. Argyle).
Or at least Mel Gibson.
In 2000, most people I knew lost their collective shit after seeing Gladiator, and many of my friends insisted it was the best movie ever made. Not even close, a-holes. Sure, it was okay, but it wasn't f--king Mel Gibson and a thousand dirty Scotsmen laying waste to droves of English soldiers.
And if Ridley Scott's movie really was that great, well, where's its years-late, mostly unnecessarily, totally inferior PG-13 sequel, huh? It never got one of those, right?
Ohhhhh. About that...
Fine, 2010's Robin Hood has nothing to do with Gladiator, but it might have even less to do with f--king Robin Hood. Again pairing star Russel Crowe and director Ridley Scott, this swords-and-arrows epic tells the (untold/unwanted) origin story of Robert of Loxley. I mean, Robin of Loxley. I mean, Robin Roberts. Of Nottingham?
Okay, most of that may be totally wrong. Here's what I do know:
Crowe plays Robin
Bigdick Longstride, a fairly badass archer in King Richard the Lionhearts' army. For whatever reason, King Dick himself fights along side his men. And on one typically gloomy English day, he's (rather unceremoniously) shot in the f--king neck and killed. Bummer, right? Guess we ought to send his crown home and let everyone know the King is dead. Long live the King.
But on the way to fully deserting the royal army, Robin and his dudes stumble across an ambush of the King's crown and all of a sudden decide to be honorable. Not only are they going to return the crown, but Robin decides to return the sword of a dying soldier, the (possibly) aforementioned Robert of Loxley. You with me so far? Of course not.
The first stop is the Royal family, to deliver the crown, and Robin has to pretend to be Robert. Um, okay. I think I got it so far. This move is somewhat risky, sure, but as news of the King's death makes the rounds, no one really gives a shit about Robin or Robert. The new King, his majesty Poe Dameron, is an asshole [so there's that bit of familiarity], and the whole kingdom is in upheaval. The script follows suit, grabs traditions and expectations, and jumps out the nearest stained-glass window.
|Are you the one they call |
See, Robin then makes his way to the oppressed village of Nottingham to return the sword, only to find that the dead guy was married to Marian (Cate Blanchett, leaving this one off the resume)...uh, for about a week, and that news of his son's death will totally upset his blind father/her father-in-law. So what does Robin do? Well, isn't it obvious? He becomes son to this random maniac and shacks up with a women who just found out her husband is dead. And everyone is fairly cool with this arrangement. No, really. Everyone's basically like, F--k Robert. F--k him right in the ear.
Lots of fights ensue, someone throws Crowe a sword while he zooms by on a horse, and there's a pretty epic battle in waste-deep water. Had it been called Warring Wars or Fights in the Rain or something, I would have been all over it. It's a pretty good time in that regard.
But as a Robin Hood movie, it fails miserably, as the only real connection to that legendary story are the names of the supporting characters and a title-card that says And so the legend begins... right before the credits roll and we're told to f--k off. At least it doesn't have Kevin Costner's wet ass in it.
Also ass-free, are the Yays and Boos. At least in a literal sense anyway. Though I'm an ass...so now it's basically anyone's guess.
|Let me ride that donkey, donkey.|
- The initial castle raid is pretty rad. Kind of set the whole Gladiator vibe, right out of the gate.
- I'm not entirely sure why, but I love Mark Strong...even if his character sucks balls.
- So, you meet some strange woman, and have to pretend to be her dead husband. Awkward. Good thing she pretty much has to help you get undressed two seconds after you meet her...cursed chainmaille.
- Which leads to shirtless Crowe, who is still a f--king monster, by the way.
- Of the three Robin Hood flicks I watched (um, in just over twenty-four hours, mind you) this movie has the best Singing Guy. (Allan something or other...played by Alan...something or other). His second song was badass.
- Tax collecting sounds like a Boo. But when it consists of burning and generally destroying houses? It's kind of a Yay. A huge one.
- Marion, for whatever reason, is kind of hard to root for as a character. But when ol' Rapey Joe shows up in a barn and she stabs his ass in the neck, I quickly became her biggest fan.
- Allan and Will spend some time on a roof absolutely destroying fools with a unrelenting slew of arrows. Honestly, there might be something wrong with me, considering how much I like watching guys get shot with arrows. It's...pretty much the greatest thing ever.
- Though that giant horse thing on the side of that mountain was pretty sweet, too.
- Alright, I tried. Back to arrows. The final showdown is on the beach, and Robin/Robert's crew is on the top of a coastal hill, the massive French army storms toward them. From what feels like a mile away, arrows rain down on these French a-holes, spearing them up and down the beach. It's brilliant. Eventually though, I guess because it's too awesome, as Robin decides to enter the fray and charge the beach. Lame? Yes? Still a Yay? Also yes.
- And finally, the Million Dollar Shot. After oddly making out on the battlefield, Robin/Robert nails a once in a lifetime arrow shot that has to be seen to be believed! Off his back foot, it's like a fadeaway jumpshot from the other foul line. And trust me...it's nothing but
|Safe to say for Prince John, this was A Most Violent Year.|
- Mom, always bustin' in your room when you're with a girl. Thanks a lot.
- The King demands the truth from you about the conditions of being one of his soldiers. You tell him. The next day? You're in the stocks. The f--k is this? See, I told you it was shitty, Your Majesty.
- Prince John, played by Oscar Issac, sucks royally. Like, yeah, the character is the worst, but between you and me? Issac is pretty terrible, too. Good for him for overcoming this giant turdburger.
- I watched this on my Playstation, after renting it from the PS Store. Cool story, bro. Wait a sec. See, I have the Playstation Camera, which kinda/sorta takes voice commands. If I say Playstation! it'll bring up a menu allowing me stop the movie or whatever. Apparently, it also does this if a character yells, TAXATION! too.
- Hey, Random Lady, I'm here because Robert of Loxley died and I have his sword. Do you know where I can find his dad? This is officially the worst way ever to find out that your husband is dead.
- This is an exact line from the movie: I don't know where I'm from, only from where I've been. Did Bon Jovi get a co-writing credit? Because he never drew first, but he drew first blood, you know?
- I'm proportionate. Thanks for that visual, Little John. Yikes.
- So, to keep up the illusion, 'Robin' and Marian have to sleep together...immediately. Robin's response to this? Ask me nicely. Marian's response? F--k off.
- And the result? 'Robin' has to sleep on the floor with a giant dog. Who I'm assuming wasn't cool with some sweaty dude totally jamming a boner in his dog-back.
- Why do these movies always have some weird silly/romantic dance number?
- And finally, the ridiculous ending. I told you, the arrows raining down from heaven was awesome. But the beach fight? F--king stupid. Especially when a surprise combatant appears and brings a bunch of previously irrelevant woodland children to the battle as well. It's so impossibly stupid, I was actually rooting for everyone to die. Myself included.
Clearly, Scott and Crowe had so much fun making Gladiator, they simply had to work together on another historical epic. I don't blame them. If something works, why not do it again? But if you're going to make a Robin Hood movie, my vote? Put Robin Hood in it.
Or at least Mel Gibson.