Robin Hood

Rated 2.0

No, there is no good reason for it. But of course the Hollywood tradition of Robin Hood movies is to keep making them anyway. So here, from Brian Helgeland’s prosaic script, comes another of director Ridley Scott’s bloated vehicles for the battle-action Russell Crowe. We meet the legendary medieval swashbuckler and presumed proto-socialist as an archer and foreign-policy skeptic in the crusading army of King Richard the Lionheart (Danny Huston); here, Robin’s battlefield pledge to a fallen nobleman portends playing house with the man’s father (Max von Sydow) and steely widow (Cate Blanchett), plus a rhetorically charged revolt against their simpering, tyrannical, tax-happy new king (Oscar Isaac). It’s swell that Crowe isn’t daunted by his notable predecessors in this role—Fairbanks, Flynn, Connery, Costner and perhaps best of all John Cleese in Time Bandits—but still, and for all its production-budget abundance, Scott’s dull movie suffers a fatal shortage of merry men.