A Clip from Ridley Scott’s ‘Robin Hood’

— by CAM SMITH —

I’m having a hard time building up a great deal of enthusiasm for director Ridley Scott’s looming cinematic take on the “Robin Hood” legend. Everything looks impeccable, from an art design and cinematography perspective, but none of the trailers have been particularly attention-grabbing and the early buzz emanating from recent test screenings has been anything but confidence-building. The whole affair looks kinda murky, dreary and bloodless — figuratively and also literally, given the movie’s PG-13 rating — and I’m having a hard time imagining Scott being able to top, or even match, his incredible work on “Kingdom of Heaven: Director’s Cut.”

Regardless, promotional goodies are beginning to spill out en masse, hyping “Hood’s” May 14 release date, and Yahoo! has posted up a pretty groovy clip of Robin and his men decimating a castle gate, while under siege from arrows and boiling tar. As par-usual, Scott’s eye for crafting epic-scale action is pretty darn awesome, but it’s hard not to compare this scene to the similar ones in “Kingdom: DC” which, as far as I’m concerned, have set a new standard in on-screen medieval warfare. (Don’t believe me, I implore you to check it out — just make sure not to watch the studio-butchered theatrical cut.)

It will be intriguing to see how much “Gladiator” goodwill Scott and Russell Crowe will be able to carry over onto this project. The medieval action-drama hasn’t been remarkably popular as of late, and this picture will be opening only a week after the far-more mass audience-friendly “Iron Man 2.” Also, taking into consideration that the film boasts a pretty lengthy run-time (which equals fewer showings-per-day), “Robin Hood” may have a considerable up-hill battle to weather in order to earn much an impressive profit. However, it will likely draw in a significant number of older ticket-buyers, which may help give it some legs — especially when playing opposite silly youth-geared fare like “Shrek Forever After” and “MacGruber.”

How do you merry men and women of IJM feel about this latest “Robin Hood” and its box-office prospects? Will it manage to reinstate the mythic character’s name in the popular consciousness or will Kevin Costner continue his unholy reign as the last truly successful heir to the forest dweller’s throne? Verbally unload your bows on our forums and let us know!

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