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After a lot of exam grading and brief digression for Westworld, it’s time to get back to the Russell Crowe Robin Hood (2010, dir. Ridley Scott). The film culminates in a battle on the beach somewhere along the southeast coast of English. The evil French are launching an invasion, and it’s up to Robin Hood to help King John stop them.

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You can watch the scene on Youtube.

There is so much wrongness here it’s hard to know where to begin. So let me just count the problems.

  • The French are using amphibious vehicles to get their troops onto the shore. This is technology way beyond anything medieval people had. The earliest amphibious vehicle was built in 1787. I’m not aware of one being used for military purposes until World War II.
  • Initially, the English forces are on top of the cliffs watching the French land. They have archers, and open fire on them. But then they decide to send their troops down to the beach to fight. This is just dumb. Up on the cliffs, the French can do nothing except take casualties until they can get up the cliffs somehow. But sending troops down to the beach means that the archers need to stop firing to avoid hitting the English soldiers. So the English forces throw away their advantage for no reason at all.
  • Robin Hood (Russell Crowe) is an archer. That’s what he was doing on crusade. There’s no evidence that he has any military experience beyond that. He’s a lowly foot soldier. He’s certainly not a knight, since his father was a stonemason. So why the hell is he given command of the English forces?
  • The English charge on the beach is totally undressed; there’s no line of horses to allow a lance charge to have a massed impact. These knights clearly don’t know how to make a charge as a unit.
  • Why is Friar Tuck (Mark Addy) fighting?
  • Why is Marion (Cate Blanchett) fighting? Why did they even bring her to a battle? So she can be attacked and inspire Robin to fight harder?
  • Why does Robin jump off his horse and tackle Sir Godfrey (Mark Strong)? On horseback, he has an advantage over Godfrey; on foot he doesn’t. He immediately draws his sword, so he doesn’t jump because he has no weapon.
  • Why does Sir Godfrey suddenly turn, jump on a horse and ride off? There’s no sign the French are losing, although some of their boats are crashing together. And where the hell is he riding to? He’s riding away from the boats. Is his horse going swim back to France?

Basically, there’s no way this battle ever happened anywhere in the Middle Ages.

This review was made possible by a generous donation from Lyn R. If you want me to review a specific film, please donate $10 or more and tell me what movie you’d like me to review, and I’ll do my best to track it down and review it, as long as I think it’s appropriate.

Want to Know More?

Robin Hood  is available on Amazon.

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