The only problem this movie truly has is the preconceived notions of the audience working against it at every turn. It is quite likely that many will be disappointed at the deviations taken from the standard Robin Hood legend. The origins of characters and their situations have changed and if you’re expecting a rehash …of events that played out in the Erroll Flynn or Kevin Costner versions of the tale, you will be sorely disappointed. This is most definitely a new take on the myth, with a Robin Hood whose politics lean more toward modern libertarianism than the steal-from-the-rich/give-to-the-poor socialist of old. He’s still a crusader against tyranny, as that is too important to the character to remove. Other aspects are re-worked instead. Gone is the Sheriff of Nottingham as the villain, replaced by Mark Strong’s Godfrey, a political saboteur whose quarrel with Robin comes not out of duty to the crown of King John but out of his interference in his political machinations.
This film is essentially an origin story. The Robin Hood we’re accustomed to is borne out of the events in this film. I think that most people, fueled by the modern cinematic desire for expediency, will find it hard to enjoy this version of Robin Hood, as it doesn’t fit with their preconceived notions of the character or the story he’s associated with. But viewed independent of past incarnations, this is a fine film, which is to be expected of Ridley Scott, who does these sort of films exceedingly well.
I hope that people can look past their biases and see the film for what it is, which is a fine period piece with some excellent action pieces and some equally impressive character moments.