REVIEW: THE GHOST (AKA The Ghost Writer)

CAST

Ewan McGregor (Cassandra’s Dream)
Pierce Brosnan (The World’s End)
Olivia Williams (An Education)
Kim Cattrall (Big Trouble In Little China)
Timothy Hutton (The Dark Half)
Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins)
Jon Bernthal (The Punisher)
James Belushi (Red Heat)
Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones)
Eli Wallach (The Godfather – Part II)

Ewan McGregor in The Ghost Writer (2010)A British ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) is hired by the publishing firm Rhinehart, Inc. to complete the autobiography of former Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan). His predecessor and Lang’s aide, Mike McAra, has recently died in an apparent drowning accident. The writer travels to Old Haven on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, where Lang and his wife Ruth (Olivia Williams) are staying, along with Lang’s personal assistant (and implied mistress), Amelia Bly (Kim Cattrall). Amelia forbids the writer from taking McAra’s manuscript outside, emphasising that it is a security risk.Ewan McGregor in The Ghost Writer (2010)Shortly after the writer’s arrival, former Foreign Secretary Richard Rycart (Robert Pugh) accuses Lang of authorising the illegal seizure of suspected terrorists and handing them over for torture by the CIA, a possible war crime. Lang faces prosecution by the International Criminal Court unless he stays in the US (or one of the few other countries that does not recognise the court’s jurisdiction). While Lang is in Washington, the writer finds items in McAra’s room suggesting he might have stumbled across a dark secret. Among them is an envelope containing photographs and a phone number the writer discovers is Rycart’s.Pierce Brosnan in The Ghost Writer (2010)During a bike ride, the writer encounters an old man (Eli Wallach) who tells him the current couldn’t have taken McAra’s body from the ferry where he disappeared to the beach where it was discovered. He also reveals a neighbour saw flashlights on the beach the night McAra died, but later fell down the stairs and went into a coma. Later, Ruth admits to the writer Lang had never been very political, and until recently always took her advice. When he tells her the old man’s story, she suddenly rushes out into the rainy night to “clear her head.” Upon returning, she reveals Lang and McAra had argued the night before the latter’s death, and the ghost writer and Ruth have a one night stand while Adam is away.The next morning, the writer takes the BMW X5[5] McAra used on his last journey. Unable to cancel the pre-programmed directions on the car’s sat-nav, he decides to follow them. He arrives in Belmont at the home of Professor Paul Emmett (Tom Wilkinson). Emmett denies anything more than a cursory acquaintance with Lang, despite the writer showing him two pictures of the pair among photographs found in McAra’s possessions, as well as another on the wall of Emmett’s study. When the writer tells Emmett the sat-nav proves McAra visited him the night he died, Emmett denies meeting McAra and becomes evasive. The writer leaves, and successfully eludes a car that is pursuing him. He boards the ferry back to Martha’s Vineyard, but when he sees the pursuit car drive aboard, he flees the boat at the last moment and checks into a small motel by the ferry dock.Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams in The Ghost Writer (2010)With no one else to turn to, the writer redials Rycart’s number, asking for help. While waiting, the writer does research on Emmett and links his think tank to a military contractor. He also finds leads connecting Emmett to the CIA. When Rycart arrives, he reveals McAra gave him documents linking Lang to so-called “torture flights,” where terrorist suspects were placed on private jets owned by Emmett’s company, to be tortured while airborne. Rycart further claims that McAra found new evidence, which he wrote about in the “beginning” of the manuscript. The men cannot, however, find anything in the early pages. The writer discusses Emmett’s relationship with Lang, while Rycart recounts how Lang’s decisions as Prime Minister uniformly benefited US interests. When the writer is summoned to accompany Lang on his return flight by private jet, he confronts Lang and accuses him of being a CIA agent recruited by Emmett. Lang derides his suggestions.Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, and Olivia Williams in The Ghost Writer (2010)Upon leaving the aircraft, Lang is assassinated by a British anti-war protester, who is in turn shot by Lang’s bodyguards. Nevertheless, the writer is asked to complete the book for posthumous publication, as in light of Lang’s death it will be a certain best-seller. Amelia invites him to the book’s launch party in London, where she unwittingly tells him the Americans tightened access to the book, as the “beginnings” contained evidence threatening national security. She also tells him Emmett, who is in attendance, was Ruth’s tutor when she was a Fulbright scholar at Harvard. The writer realises the clues were hidden in the original manuscript in the opening words of each chapter, and discovers the message: “Lang’s wife Ruth was recruited as a CIA agent by Professor Paul Emmett of Harvard University.” He concludes Ruth shaped Lang’s every political decision to benefit the USA under direction from the CIA.Ewan McGregor in The Ghost Writer (2010)The writer passes a note to Ruth revealing his discovery. She unfolds the note, and is devastated. When she sees the writer raising a glass, she is kept from following him by Emmett and other assistants. As the writer leaves the party he attempts to take a taxi, without success. As he crosses the street off-camera, a car accelerates in his direction to an impending collision. As witnesses react in horror, the pages containing McAra’s manuscript are blowing in the wind, leaving the writer’s fate unconfirmed.Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor in The Ghost Writer (2010)Polanski is a master of subtlety, grace, and wit. His eye creates breathtaking and beautiful shots. His ear adds a malevolent and demented humor to the score of a film. There is most always something unspeakable, indescribable beneath the surface of a Polanski film. Something unnerving about the tone but never overbearing, or pounding the audience over the head with it. This is certainly true of The Ghost Writer. What I found surprising, not being familiar with the novel on which it is based, was the political statement being made. Humorously portraying certain key figures in the political environment of the last decade. In any other hands, this could never have been done so believably and deftly. All the key performances are on target. And how could they not be. For Polanski knows how to work with actors and guide them in creating such memorable characters. Ewan McGregor certainly fits his role seamlessly as does Olivia Williams. So many could learn from Polanski how a thriller needs to be constructed in order to hold an audience to the very end. The word entertainment means to ‘hold in between’ which is what The Ghost Writer does from beginning to its haunting and inevitable conclusion.

REVIEW: ATLANTIS – SEASON 2 – PART 1

MAIN CAST

Jack Donnelly (House of Anubis)
Mark Addy (Game of Thrones)
Robert Emms (Mirror, Mirror)
Aiysha Hart (New Blood)
Sarah Parish (The Holiday)
Juliet Stevenson (Being Julia)
Jemima Rooper (Hex)
Amy Manson (T2: Trainspotting)

Gary Oliver and Jack Donnelly in Atlantis (2013)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Vincent Regan (300)
Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones)
Josef Altin (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)
Peter De Jersey (The Bank Job)
Thomas Coombes (Save Me)
Steven Cree (Maleficent)
Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel)
Clive Standen (Everest)
Ronald Pickup (The BEst Exotic Marigold Hotel)
Susan Brown (Game of Thrones)

The unmissable series returns and the time has come for Jason to fulfil his destiny… or Atlantis will be lost beneath the waves forever. A year has passed and much has changed. With Minos dead, Ariadne is Queen and finds herself at war with her old adversary: Pasiphae. The kingdom stands on the brink of collapse and the struggle for power is both bloody and brutal. With the future looking bleak, Ariadne turns to her most trusted friends for support and so Jason, Hercules and Pythagoras are thrust to the very heart of politics and power in the city.Following a very good first series, which ended leaving several cliffhangers for this series to sum up: The evil Pasiphae is really Jason’s mother; What is going to happen to Medusa. So far so good – the second series has been really good and very entertaining so far. Jack Donnelly playing the main character, Jason, has a lot of screen time, and a lot centered around his character, and what he must do in order to fulfill his destiny. My favourite character, Hurclues is even more courageous and funnier than he was in the first series, and Mark Addy does a fantastic job at playing his character. Robert Emms does a confident job at playing the clever and wise Pythagoras as well. We see the most development in Ariadne, who is now Queen due to the King’s death in-between the previous two series. What I really liked is that every episode was centred around all the characters together, not just a particular character. All the actors are great, but Sarah Parish has to be the best actor in it, her acting is truly formidable, and her evil characteristics and bitterness increase to great extent in this series.Amy Manson and Jack Donnelly in Atlantis (2013)I have really enjoyed the series so far. I really like how every episode in the series continues from it’s preceding, it made it very exiting, and I was counting down to see what would happen next, and where the story would go. I am disappointed how we did not see King Minos’ death; he was alive and well at the end of the final episode of the first series, yet we learn of his death in the first episode of this series. I think it would have been an episode centered around his death, and Ariadne preparing to be Queen rather than just jumping straight to it.Amy Manson and Jack Donnelly in Atlantis (2013)The series has been very action packed, generally gripping and exiting and has been very entertaining, I am enjoyed it immensely. And if the second half of the series continues to be this way, then this series may just top the first.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: LOVE BITE

CAST

Jessica Szohr (Piranha 3D)
Ed Speleers (A Lonely Place To Die)
Timothy Spall (Rock Star)
Luke Pasqualino (Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome)
Kierston Wareing (The Holding)
Imogen Toner (The Inheritance)
Robert Pugh (Robin Hood)
Paul Birchard (Batman)

ed-speelers-and-jessica-szohr-BLOVE-BITEThe film takes the typical teen sex romp and turns it on its head by adding a werewolf to the storyline. In the film, a werewolf comes to town and has a particular affinity for virgin flesh, so the kids in the story have to have sex in order to save themselves. The filmmakers use a particularly amusing tag line for the film, “Everyone is dying…to get laid!”.Love-Bite-image

Jamie (Ed Speleers) and his friends live in the dead-end UK seaside town of Rainmouth. They’re heading into the first summer after finishing high school and most of the group are content with working in the local pie factory, except for Jamie, who wants to travel but is stuck working in his mom’s B&B. One night at a party, Jamie meets a beautiful American girl, Juliana (Jessica Szohr) and instantly falls for her. But soon after Juliana comes to town, teens begin to go missing.02178fe5b45533b85a203a965b075335Another mysterious stranger (Timothy Spall) arrives in town and befriends Jamie, warning him a werewolf is responsible for the sudden disappearances. He also warns the werewolf is after virgin flesh, so anyone who has never had sex is at risk of attack. Jamie and all his friends, for all their male bravado have never actually been with a girl before and therefore are on the werewolf’s menu. So it’s a mad dash for the boys to have sex before it’s too late.Love-Bite-image

Love Bite was released in Britain and European territories in 2012 but has never been released in North America as of yet, which is really too bad because more people need to see this film. It’s a wonderful movie and needs to find a wider audience. I really didn’t expect to like this film as much as I did. It does a wonderful job of tapping into the oversexed male psyche of today who is on the brink of adulthood and infuses it with a supernatural horror of being stalked by a werewolf who has a taste for virgin flesh. It has all the comedic elements of a classic sex comedy only with a horror twist.

REVIEW: WEST IS WEST

Starring

Om Puri (The Parole Officer)
Linda Bassett (The Reader)
Aqib Khan (Going To Mexico)
Lesley Nicol (Free Birds)
Jimi Mistry (The Guru)
Ila Arun (Manto)
Emil Marwa (Doghouse)
Vijay Raaz (Setters)
Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones)

Aqib Khan in West Is West (2010)In 1976, five years after the original film East Is East, little is known about most of the Khan children, except that they seldom communicate with their parents. Tariq is now a hippie (looking like George Harrison) who runs a new age store with older brother Nazir, and his English girlfriend is unaware of his true ethnicity. Maneer lives with his extended family in Pakistan where he is searching for a suitable wife without any success. Sajid, the youngest Khan child, no longer wears a parka, and is a truant constantly bullied due to his Pakistani background, although the headmaster—a former British soldier who served in the Punjab—is sympathetic, encouraging him to embrace his heritage. After Sajid is caught shoplifting, his father George, who has retained his bullying nature, attacks him at home. When Sajid retaliates, calling him a “dirty Paki bastard”, and a devastated George states all his other children in England have become British and he cannot lose Sajid as well. He takes him to Pakistan to meet their extended family and show him life in their native land is better, though Ella openly disapproves.Jimi Mistry in West Is West (2010)On arriving in Pakistan, George and Sajid are greeted by relatives including Tavnir, a lazy man who often tries to swindle George—and is his son-in-law through his marriage to one of George’s daughters with his first wife Basheera. On the family farm, George is reunited with Basheera and their daughters whom he had abandoned thirty years before, and hands out gifts to all, telling them he is staying for a month to find Maneer a wife, but soon discovers no family will give their their daughter away as they fear Maneer will leave his wife for an English woman as his father George did when he left Basheera for Ella. Furious, George blames his family in England, but Maneer reminds him he himself is at fault. Basheera is also angry with George for abandoning her when she needed him.Aqib Khan in West Is West (2010)When Tavnir explains to Sajid he will not tolerate any trouble, he is abruptly told to “fuck off”. Sajid is taken to the local school for enrolment where he meets spiritual teacher Pir Naseem and local boy Zaid who Sajid loathes at first, and refuses to enrol. Zaid, who can speak basic English, advises him, and the two become firm friends. Zaid teaches him Pakistani culture, and Pir Naseem promises George he will discipline his son when he misbehaves. Sajid gradually appreciates his culture and new surroundings which pleases George, except he is slightly jealous of the bond that develops between his son and Pir Naseem. Eventually Sajid discovers Rochdale-born Pakistani woman Neelam, who bears a striking resemblance to Maneer’s favourite singer Nana Mouskouri; like Maneer she is also looking for a spouse in Pakistan, and with her approval Sajid plans a meeting between the pair.Om Puri and Aqib Khan in West Is West (2010)Meanwhile, Ella discovers George has withdrawn the family savings, and travels to Pakistan with her best friend Annie in tow. She is furious to discover her husband is building a house for his family there, and plans to take Sajid back to England with her, but he refuses to leave. During her stay, Ella fights with Basheera and her daughters, and refuses to give them access to the new house, but upon realising how alike they are the two women put their differences aside. Maneer and Neelam soon marry, and George for the first time in years begins to appreciate Ella as a wife who stood by him during hard times. The film ends with George and his England-based family returning home and Sajid finally proud of his Asian background, whilst George’s chippy now serves Pakistani-style kebabs.West Is West (2010)In 1999, “East Is East” was a pleasurable and incisive look at the clash of different cultures in an Anglo-Pakistani family in a Salford set in 1971. Over a decade later comes a sequel of sorts, this film located mainly in the Punjab part of Pakistan a few years on. Although the director is different (Andy DeEmmony this time), the writer is the same (Ayub Khan-Din) as are some of the lead actors, notably Om Puri (actually from the Indian part of the Punjab), again outstanding as the patriarch struggling to give his youngest son an appreciation of his Pakistani culture, and Linda Bassett as his long-suffering English wife. It is an uneven work, with some of the characters merely caricatures and some of the humour simply slapstick, but there are plenty of moving scenes – above all one between the English and Pakistani wives when neither can understand the other’s language but both manage to convey deep understanding – and the locations and soundtrack are excellent

REVIEW: MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD

 

CAST

Russell Crowe (Gladiator)
Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
James D’Arcy (Agent Carter)
Robert Pugh (Robin Hood)
Joseph Morgan (The Originals)
Billy Boyd (Lord of The Rings)
John DeSantis (Blade: The Series)
Patrick Gallagher (Glee)

maxresdefaultIn May 1805, during the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Jack Aubrey of HMS Surprise is ordered to pursue the French privateer Acheron, and “Sink, Burn or take her [as] a Prize.” The British warship is ambushed by Acheron; Surprise is heavily damaged, while its own cannon fire does not penetrate the enemy ship’s hull. Using smaller boats, the crew of Surprise tow the ship into a fog bank and evade pursuit. Meanwhile, Aubrey learns from a crewman who saw Acheron being built that it is heavier and faster than Surprise, and the senior officers consider the ship out of their class. Aubrey notes that such a ship could tip the balance of power in Napoleon’s favour if allowed to plunder the British whaling fleet at will. He orders pursuit of Acheron, rather than returning to port for repairs. Acheron again ambushes Surprise, but Aubrey slips away in the night by using a clever decoy buoy and ships lamps.MV5BMjAyNTI4MTU0M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDQ1NzU5MTE@._V1_SX1551_CR0,0,1551,999_AL_Following the privateer south, Surprise rounds Cape Horn and heads to the Galapagos Islands, where Aubrey is sure Acheron will prey on Britain’s whaling fleet. The ship’s doctor, Maturin, is interested in the islands’ flora and fauna, and Aubrey promises his friend several days’ exploration time. When Surprise reaches the Galapagos they recover the survivors of a whaling ship destroyed by Acheron. Realizing the ship is close, Aubrey hastily pursues the privateer. Maturin feels that Aubrey is going back on his word, and is following Acheron more out of pride than duty.MV5BMjBkZTk2MzEtODQzYy00YWY5LTkwYjgtNjc4YWYwNDc0ZDkxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTc5MDI5NjE@._V1_Marine officer Captain Howard attempts to shoot an albatross, but accidentally hits Maturin. The surgeon’s mate informs Aubrey that the bullet and a piece of cloth it took with it must be removed, but the operation should be performed on solid ground. Despite closing on Acheron, Aubrey turns around and takes the doctor back to the Galapagos. Maturin performs surgery on himself using a mirror. Giving up the pursuit of the privateer, Aubrey grants Maturin the chance to explore the island and gather specimens before they head for home. On crossing the island looking for a species of flightless cormorant, the doctor discovers Acheron anchored on the other side of the island. Abandoning most of his specimens, Maturin warns Aubrey, and Surprise readies for battle. Due to Acheron’s sturdy hull, Surprise must get in close to deal damage. After observing the camouflage ability of one of Maturin’s specimens—a stick insect—Aubrey disguises Surprise as a whaling ship; he hopes the French would move close to capture the valuable ship rather than destroy it. The Acheron falls for the disguise and is disabled. Aubrey leads boarding parties across the wreckage, engaging in fierce hand-to-hand combat before the ship is captured. Looking for the Acheron’s captain, Aubrey is directed to the sickbay, where a French doctor tells him the captain is dead and offers Aubrey the commander’s sword.MV5BMjEwMDYzNjQ2Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTA1NzgyMw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1498,1000_AL_Acheron and Surprise are repaired; while Surprise will remain in the Galapagos, the captured Acheron is to be taken to Valparaíso. As Acheron sails away, Maturin mentions that their doctor had died months ago. Realising the French captain deceived him by pretending to be the ship’s doctor, Aubrey gives the order to change course to intercept the Acheron and escort her to Valparaíso, and for the crew to assume battle stations. Maturin is again denied the chance to explore the Galapagos, but Aubrey wryly notes that since the bird he seeks is flightless, “it’s not going anywhere”, and the two play a selection of Luigi Boccherini as the crew assumes battle stations and the Surprise turns in pursuit of the Acheron.MV5BYzU5MzFhNmQtMmYzNy00MjZkLTljZDEtY2UxNGU1ZDQxMjU2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTc5MDI5NjE@._V1_A truly excellent film. Very well shot and scored, it really conveys the atmosphere and feel of the era and situation well. Russel Crowe is well cast, long with the other staple characters. It’s quite an experience, and I would certainly recommend watching it.

REVIEW: ENIGMA

CAST

Dougray Scott (Misison Impossible II)
Kate Winslet (Insurgent)
Saffrom Burrows (Deep Blue Sea)
Jeremy Northam (The Net)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)
Tom Hollander (Muppets Most Wanted)
Donald Sumpter (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Matthew Macfadyen (Anna Karenina)
Anne-Marie Duff (The Virgin Queen)
Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones)

The story, loosely based on actual events, takes place in March 1943, when the Second World War was at its height. The cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, have a problem: the Nazi U-boats have changed one of their code reference books used for Enigma machine ciphers, leading to a blackout in the flow of vital naval signals intelligence. The British cryptanalysts have cracked the “Shark” cipher once before, and they need to do it again in order to keep track of U-boat locations.

The film begins with Jericho returning to Bletchley after a month recovering from a nervous breakdown brought on by his failed love affair with Claire. Jericho immediately tries to see her again and finds that she mysteriously disappeared a few days earlier. He enlists the help of Claire’s housemate Hester Wallace, to follow the trail of clues and learn what has happened to Claire.

Mr. Jericho and Miss Wallace, as they formally address each other, work to decipher intercepts stolen by Claire and determine why she took them. Jericho is closely watched by an MI5 agent, Wigram (Jeremy Northam), who plays cat and mouse with him throughout the film. Meanwhile, U-boats closing in on one of the ship convoys from America allow Jericho and the team to work on breaking back into reading Shark. Jericho and Hester’s research uncovers the British government’s cover-up of the Katyn Massacre out of fear that the knowledge of it might weaken American willingness to remain in the war on the same side as Joseph Stalin.

Cryptanalyst Jozef ‘Puck’ Pukowski (Nikolaj Coster Waldau), working at Bletchley, learned of Katyn from Claire and was so incensed by the massacre – which claimed the life of his brother – that he set about betraying Bletchley’s secrets to the Nazis in order to take revenge on Stalin. Claire is presumed dead as Jericho trails Puck to Scotland and catches up with him just as he is about to be taken on board a U-boat, but Wigram and the police have been waiting for the sub and it is bombed and sunk. A short scene after the war sees Jericho and Hester married with a child on the way. As Jericho waits for her in London, he notices Claire walking across the square.

It’s historical fact that the war effort against Hitler was greatly facilitated by the Brit’s ability to decode German military encryptions. Enigma is a richly photographed and costumed period piece – an intriguing glimpse inside the congregation of geniuses, misfits and eccentrics gathered together by the War Office to win the war in their own unique way.

REVIEW: ROBIN HOOD (2010)

 

ROBIN HOOD

CAST

Russell Crowe (Gladiator)
Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit)
Max Von Sydow (Minority Report)
William Hurt (The Host)
Mark Strong (John Carter)
Oscar Isaac (Star Wars – Episode VII)
Danny Huston (30 Days of Night)
Eileen Atkins (Cold Mountain)
Mark Addy (Game of Thrones)
Matthew Macfadyen (Frost/Nixon)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Scott Grimes (American Dad)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Arthur Darvill (Legends of Tomorrow)
Léa Seydoux (Inglourious Basterds)
Robert Pugh (Love Bite)
Bronson Webb (Atonement)
Ned Dennehy (Good Omens)

MV5BMTIwMzE2MjM4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjA1OTY3._V1_

In 1199 A.D., Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) is a common archer in the army of King Richard the Lionheart (Danny Huston). A veteran of Richard’s crusade, he now takes part in the siege of Chalus Castle. Disillusioned and war-weary, he gives a frank but unflattering appraisal of the King’s conduct after the King asks him to answer him honestly. Though the Kings commends him for his honesty Robin and his comrades – archers Allan A’Dayle (Alan Doyle) and Will Scarlett (Scott Grimes) and soldier Little John (Kevin Durand) – find themselves in the stocks.
When the King is slain during an attack on the castle, Robin and his men decide to free themselves and desert. They come across an ambush of the English royal guard by Godfrey (Mark Strong), an English knight who has conspired with King Philip of France to assassinate the King. As Godfrey flees Robin attempts to shoot him but only succeeds in wounding Godfrey’s face with an arrow. Robin decides to take advantage of the situation by having his men impersonate the dead English knights to return to England. As they depart, Robin promises one of the dying knights, Sir Robert Loxley (Douglas Hodge), to return a sword to his father in Nottingham.
As Robin and his men become drunk on the voyage, they awake too late to flee unnoticed and Robin is forced to assume the identity of the slain Loxley and publicly inform the royal family of the King’s death. He witnesses the coronation of King John (Oscar Isaac), who orders harsh new taxes to be collected, dispatching Sir Godfrey to the North to do so – unaware that Godfrey will instead use French troops to stir up unrest and create an opening for Philip to invade England.
Robin and his companions head to Nottingham, where Loxley’s elderly and blind father, Sir Walter (Max von Sydow), asks him to continue impersonating his son, to prevent the family lands being taken by the Crown. However, Loxley’s widow, Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett), is initially cold toward Robin, but warms to him, when he and his men merrily recover tithed grain for the townsfolk to plant. Godfrey’s actions incite the northern barons, who march to meet King John. Speaking now for Sir Walter, Robin proposes the King agree to a charter of rights to ensure the rights of every Englishman and unite his country. Having realized Godfrey’s deception, and knowing he must meet the French invasion with an army, the King agrees. Meanwhile, the French marauders plunder Nottingham and Godfrey murders Sir Walter. Robin and the northern barons arrive and stop Godfrey’s men.

As the French begin their invasion on the beach below the Cliffs of Dover, Robin leads the now united English army against them. In the midst of the battle, Robin duels with Godfrey, who attempted to kill Marion and flees until Robin finally succeeds in shooting him with an arrow from afar. Philip realizes that his plan to divide England has failed and calls off his invasion. When King John sees the French surrendering to Robin instead of himself, he senses a threat to his power. In London, John reneges on his promise to sign the charter, instead declaring Robin an outlaw to be hunted throughout the kingdom. The Sheriff of Nottingham (Matthew Macfadyen) announces the decree as Robin and his men flee to Sherwood Forest with the orphans of Nottingham. Marion narrates their new life in the greenwood, noting that they live in equality as they right the many wrongs in the Kingdom of King John.

MV5BMTIwMzE2MjM4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjA1OTY3._V1_Helgeland wrote a clever script, showing Medieval ideology and a complex political situation. His previous Medieval film was A Knight’s Tale, which he wrote and directed. But with Robin Hood he seems to have grown up as a writer and gives this film a little more of a complex plot and shows a bigger picture. He also cleverly mixes different aspects about how the legend has changed, like how Robin starting as a commoner and pretends to be a higher ranked man. The film also covers its bases by showing the two sites places that claim to be Robin’s home, Nottingham and Barnsdale. However this film felt like an origins story, a start to a new film series. This is Robin Hood that has not been seen on screen like this before.  Robin Hood is also historically suspect, with events and dates being changed and made up, some ideas and culture also seems to be the victim of artistic license. But Scott knows that storytelling requires character development and show a more balanced picture, particularly with historically set films. At least this film does accept that it is a piece of historical fiction.