Robin Hood

Robin Hood

(M) Universal DVD/BD

Robbing from the rich, giving to the poor — that’s how Robin Hood rolls. At least, he did, before frequent collaborators Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe reinvented the mythical British outlaw.

Unlike almost every previous portrait of The Hood — from Errol Flynn to that cool Disney fox — Scott’s version dumps the swashbuckling, roguish Robin in favour of a stubbly soldier largely devoid of charisma or personality.

With battle sequences that recall Scott/Crowe’s biggest hit, Gladiator, and a convoluted plot about royal deceit, social upheaval and international warfare, Robin Hood is more an historical slog than a rip-roaring adventure.

Interestingly, the one time that Hood does do the rich robbing, poor giving, he steals grain from — wait for it — the Church. Earlier, Lady Marian (Cate Blanchett) had chewed out a Christian minister for hoarding grain while impoverished villagers starved. His cold-blooded suggestion that the people’s lack of provision must be God’s punishment for unconfessed sins paints an awful picture of smug Christianity and uncharitable judgment.

Robin Hood might not be a rousing adventure but it’s also a stark challenge to Christians to reconsider how they practice what they preach.

Ben McEachen

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