I have been watching a lot of Tony Robinson's Maid Marian and her Merry Men (1989-94) lately and I have to say that as a spoof and a children's show even MM was a better telling of the story than the drivel I sat through tonight! In Ridley Scott's RH Russell Crowe leads an army into battle with France on the shores of England. He never EVER steals anything from the rich and gives to the poor- he steals some grain from the church and gives it to the relatively wealthy bird that he fancies. NOTHING else.
The production design was awful, AWFUL. What the hell did they base the look of it on?! It was all wrong. Bad script, bad look, bad casting. Yeah, half the time- no wait, I'm being kind, MOST of the time I didn't have a clue what Russell Crowe was saying, I had no idea what his accent was supposed to be, Scouser, Geordie, Yorkshire, Irish?! What?!
I was angry that Guy of Gisborne never turned up, I was even angrier that the Sheriff of Nottingham had about three minutes screen time- especially as Matthew MacFadyen seemed to be the only one in the film not taking it so effing seriously! He must have signed up and thought "Yeah! Sheriff of Nottingham! That's a brill role! The bad guy, yeah?" Only to find that Mark Strong was the bad guy Godfrey of Basingstoke! He must have got his script and said: "Well eff this, if Alan Rickman can camp it up to fuck then so can I!" And he was extremely campy while everyone else mumbled their lines like it was a serious piece of history.
Yes, I enjoyed the Sheriff's cameo but I spent most of the film (trying to find something to enjoy) deliriously lusting over Mark Strong. The thing I usually like about Mark Strong is his ill-fitting wigs, they change from film to film, but in this, without the ridiculous syrup as sported in Sherlock Holmes, I could really appreciate just how perfect his face is. Pity he got that badly made scar right at the beginning of the film. Boo!