First-rate cast can't save Robin Hood remake

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Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood tries to give its legendary English hero-thief (played by frequent Scott collaborator Russell Crowe) a gritty update/reboot à la Batman Begins or Casino Royale. Scott is a capable filmmaker, and he certainly knows how to stage a visually stunning action sequence, but his talents — as well as those of the first-rate cast (including Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, and Max Von Sydow) — aren’t enough to save Robin Hood. There’s simply nothing fresh here. For that matter, there isn’t much here that feels like a Robin Hood movie. Scott spends too much time on political intrigue and not enough on Robin’s merry band. At least there’s one scene where the rich get robbed and the spoils are given to the poor. But this is Robin Hood in name only; it’s more like a second-rate Braveheart or a halfhearted attempt to recapture the success of Scott and Crowe’s Gladiator. ** 1/2

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