I’ve probably analysed all adaptions to death in my previous post, but here’s another update! (This doesn’t help the ‘nerd’ image in the slightest…)
So what comparisons can we make?
This movie takes the darkness of the Russell Crowe version, combined with the humour of the TV show (Marian looks the spitting image of Lucy Griffiths). It delivers the action, the evil, and combines it with a lot of assassins creed. Riding horseback over rooftops, shooting 100 arrows a second, their modern outfits, buildings that look more eastern than medieval 🏰 … we know how unrealistic this is going to be, but that’s also what keeps us riveted to the screen. It isn’t going to be accurate. But we also know that RH didn’t exist in his ‘current form.’ RH is a great bowman, (my jealousy knows no bounds) and if nothing else, it’s good to have a heroic figure to believe in.
John takes over Azeem’s role in ‘Prince of thieves’, that of mentor and companion, Will Scarlet actually becomes the new sheriff (bet you didn’t see that coming!) There is no gang, at least not without a beginning and each has a story to tell. The dynamics have shifted between them, and they’re not the beloved characters you remember them to be.
The concept of RH to me isn’t just the rich robbing to give to the poor. It’s about the idea of justice, of doing what’s right, and caring for those around you. It might seem two dimensional, (he is a killer, and surely has done some terrible things during the crusades. Isn’t stealing from the law equally as deplorable?) But to this day, and what makes it such a popular legend to portray, is that it shares some important qualities~ of staying loyal (Robin & Marian throughout the time he’s at war), of friendship (in this case striking a bond with those you fight/ work alongside and having a common cause), fairness and sacrifice- death seems but a notion, if its fighting for what you believe in/ those you love.
Yes all versions have a bleak view on the corruptness of the church. The crusades were dark, horrific times and nothing is pretty about heads being lopped off, or peppered by a thousand arrows. They fight for a cause directed by another’s hand and it’s only upon his return home does RH realise the corrupt villains at his own door.
So isn’t he justified in taking action? To strike at the root of evil? No matter what face he wears over the years, he represents an ‘idea’, to stand up against tyranny.
All along it seems a tug of war between RH and the sheriff, of deception, both equally dependent on the other. So it’s interesting to see their relationship throughout the process.
For this movie, RH keeps his personae as robin of Loxley (rich Lord of the Manor) as well as his doppelgänger Robin of the hood. His disguise is never doubted and the sheriff trusts him all too easily. Which is what makes it so intriguing. You’re always waiting for that moment when he’ll be found out.
So what if you found a role reversal, with RH as the villain, the sheriff as compassionate, albeit flawed man caught between his duty & personal affairs who isn’t fixated on capturing Robin Hood at all but merely surviving and protecting his family-what then? 🤔
Overall, it did fulfill what I can only describe as the RH ‘criteria’ and pay homage to the essence of what he represents. The true core of it stays the same, no matter how modern or glitzily revamped the adaptations are. It’s easy to be a critic of the movie, but the reason it stays in people’s minds is down to one thing. Whether he existed or not, he’s been turned into a household name that inspires courage and imagination through the years … and that’s the true legend of Robin Hood.