New “Robin Hood” is historically accurate

It's Robin -- a fictitious character at that -- in his early years

| May 24, 2010

Russell Crowe in a scene from Robin Hood
Robin Hood, the 2010 version starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett and directed by Ridley Scott, could well be the most historically accurate of all the poems, legends, songs, movies, and television shows that have been created about the legendary English outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.

This is ironic, of course, because there is no evidence that Robin Hood actually existed.

However, the secondary characters of King John, King Richard, and King Philip of France all certainly did exist, which makes the closing title that says the characters in the movie are fictitious and any resemblance to
characters living or dead is coincidental all the more ironic, if not a blatant lie.

So, this version begins in 1199 A.D. in France, and we see King Richard the Lion Heart on his way back to England with his army after 10 years of fighting in the First Crusade.

For reasons that aren’t made clear unless we just assume that the English and the French hate each other, Richard says there is one more castle to sack and then it is home to England.

Spoiler Alert! King Richard dies in the attack, and one of the king’s prize archers is Robin Longstride, a natural leader of men, who was being punished for being too honest.

Robin encourages some men to head for the coast with him, but when they complain that they haven’t been paid, Robin tells them, “Try getting paid by a dead king.”

Then through a series of circumstances, Robin and his followers end up in possession of the king’s crown when the noblemen taking it back to England are killed, and Robin also takes the sword of Sir Robert Loxley, who was protecting the crown.

They travel to England posing as noblemen, return the crown to London with the news that King Richard is dead, and then return the sword to Sir Robert’s father and Marion, Sir Robert’s widow.

A traitor in King John’s court knows the truth, Robin is declared an outlaw, and after many fights that go on so long, they become boring, we see a title that says, “And So the Legend Begins.”

should have been subtitled “The Early Years,” and we will have to wait for the sequel to get to the good stuff.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”


“Hotshots” is a weekly movie review by Dan Culberson available on KGNU Community Radio (88.5 FM in Boulder and 1390 AM in Denver, on Filmchannel1, and on Boulder Reporter. Culberson has been reviewing films since 1972 for newspapers, magazines, radio and television.