This movie tells the story of the events leading up to Robin Hood (Russell Crowe) becoming an outlaw. We meet him as Robin Longstride, an archer in King Richard’s army. He is an honest individual whose outspoken opinions land him in hot water with the King. When King Richard is killed in battle, Robin and his band of followers – Little John, Will Scarlet and Alan A’Dayle – decide to leave the battle behind and head home to England. Meanwhile Godfrey (Mark Strong) is conspiring with the French to kill King Richard, not knowing that the King is already dead.
Godfrey and his men ambush the dead King’s escort, fatally wounding all the knights before Robin and his companions arrive to rescue the King’s crown. One of the knights left dying is Sir Robert Loxley (Douglas Hodge). He makes Robin promise to return his family sword to his father, Sir Walter Loxley (Max von Sydow), in Nottingham. Robin and his men don the knights’ armour, and Robin takes on the identity of Sir Robert Loxley.
Robin and his men arrive in England and return King Richard’s crown to Prince John. They then go to Nottingham, where Robin returns Sir Robert’s sword to Sir Walter and meets Sir Robert’s wife, Marion (Cate Blanchett). In a bid to allow Marion to keep her family lands, Sir Walter convinces Robin to continue with the ruse of being her husband.
Meanwhile Godfrey is busy terrorising half of England. He is trying to raise taxes for King John and stir up unrest with the nobles ahead of the French invasion. Robin discovers Godfrey’s treason and takes up the struggle against him.
Treason; death and killing; outlaws
Treason; death and killing; outlaws
This movie contains some sexual references. For example:
- Prince John’s concubine is referred to as a ‘French pastry’. His mother tells John to ‘bed her and wed her’.
- In relation to a scar disfiguring Godfrey’s face, the King says ‘the ladies will love you even more’.
- Little John is asked, ‘So why do they call you Little John?’ The question has sexual overtones.
- Sir Walter is an old man in his seventies. He says that he woke up this morning with a ‘glow’. This comment has sexual overtones.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie contains some use of substances. For example:
- King Richard drinks wine from a flagon and seems mildly drunk.
- King Richard asks for wine while dying on the battlefield.
- In several scenes, men drink wine and mead. They sing and seem mildly drunk.
- Robin’s men ask Friar Tuck whether he knows where they can get a drink. The Friar asks whether they’ve tried a honey liqueur called mead.
- Friar Tuck makes mead, and in one scene he seems quite drunk.
- French soldiers break open Friar Tuck’s barrels of mead.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Prince John’s mother bursts into his bedchamber to find the Prince and a woman lying naked beneath the bed covers. The woman’s shoulders are bare, and the Prince’s chest is naked. The Prince stands naked on the bed in front of his mother, but only his naked back is shown.
- Several village women are seen with shirts half falling off their shoulders, making sexual gestures to entice Robin’s men. The next day we see the men stumbling out of a house followed by the women.
- Robin kisses Marion on the lips.
- There are scenes of sexual assault and attempted rape.
None of concern
This movie contains occasional coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Robin Hood is an action adventure that gives us a new picture of this legendary character. The movie is likely to entertain a wide-ranging audience, although it is not suited to younger viewers. Although the movie contains violence and disturbing scenes, the depiction of blood and gore is kept to a minimum. Along with much of the movie’s high-profile supporting cast, Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett provide excellent performances.
The main messages from this movie are that fair play and liberty are worth believing in and fighting for. You should never give up or give in to tyranny.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include honesty and selflessness.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as the consequences of King John’s greed, dishonesty and betrayal of his people.