Monday, October 16, 2006

Robin Hood - is it good?

So - Robin Hood 2006. Is it good?

Well, it's alright. Above average. Say 5.5/10, maybe 6 or 7 when it's cooking with gas. I'm going to try to avoid comparing it with the awesomeness of Robin of Sherwood, but I'm also going to fail in that endeavour.

Robin Hood 2006 is too modern in its post-9/11 sensibilities for my opinion. We seem to be moving into 1984 territory in that every movie or show needs to have a hidden message that is relevant to today's society. I personally would much rather have a show about times of yore when men were men and so on.

However in Robin Hood 2006 the war in Iraq... sorry... Crusades are naturally a bad thing, no shades of grey there (the Sheriff is the most vociferous supporter and it's pretty clear the taxes he's collecting are to fuel Richard's war), while "enemies of the State" are being put in secret camps without any rights (read: Guantanamo Bay) and the heroes are shocked that enemies of the state are executed without an appeal which seems jarringly modern for medieval times where you were at the whim of local lords and bizarre laws, and for example it was considered perfectly reasonable and legal to shoot a Scotsman approaching York's walls.

The acting on the whole is good. I still say Robin looks more like a hobbit than a master archer, seems to have qualms about killing and uses his archery skills to fire a lot of silly CGI shots and warning shots. It also appears he is very much a lady's man - in the first episode he snogs a young lady and earns the ire of her sword-wielding peasant father (who looked roughly the same age as her, but hey-ho).

Much on the other hand seems to carry the show, driving the plot as he is Robin's right-hand man. He keeps it light-hearted. So far he's funny at times and yet almost ridiculously inept for a veteran of the Crusades. His comic relief might be tiresome after 13 episodes - he needs to show some sort of survival skills, and he shouldn't be sidelined in favour of Little John or Will now he's been so prominent. Maid Marian so far has yet to appear sympathetic - she clearly has a chip on her shoulder with regards Rob, and constantly berates him for not playing the long term game like her and her father, but on the other hand has yet to actually accomplish anything other than knifing a guard with her one of her two matching hair pieces (which strangely went unnoticed by the Sheriff). As for the Sheriff - he's been watching Alan Rickman's performance, which is no bad thing, but Robin of Sherwood's Sheriff had a much darker edge, throwing his lot in with basically a Satan worshipper in the first episodes.

Also, unlike the awesome Robin of Sherwood there's a distinct lack of grime and muck, in an almost Hercules: The Legendary Journeys way. I also spotted that Little John's missus has a horse, which surely means she can't be that poor as horses were for noblemen and fetched a pretty penny (hence why horse-rustling was a death sentence).

In terms of production values, it's very good. Nottingham looks a little too much like Minas Tirith for my liking, but that is a compliment as well as a criticism. In terms of derring-do on a Saturday it's worth a look. Also - watch Episodes 1 & 2 back-to-back, I suspect that was how they were intended to be broadcast.

Next on the agenda - Torchwood.

1 comment:

Claudia said...

I must say that I agree with your general summation, particularly on the fact that Much seems to be doing a lot of the plot/character heavy lifting given that the show is called Robin Hood.