Director Ridley Scott's Robin Hood is puzzler, a "re-imagining" of a tale that not only didn't need to be re-thought, but one that's already so well-known that monkeying with key elements makes it feel as if those who made the film simply got their facts wrong. It's an origin story created for a character whose entire tale was already an origin story, re-writing the basic premise of Robin Hood's legend to turn it into a mash-up of Spider-Man and Gladiator.

Kicking off in 1199 ("the turn of the 12th century," as a title incorrectly states), Richard The Lionheart (Danny Huston) is closing out his Third Crusade by torching a castle in France. One of his soldiers, Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) is pulled from the ranks by the king and given the chance to speak. After politely dressing down the king for the murderous atrocities committed in England's name, he and his compatriots are placed in stocks. This is, of course, so that we can see Robin as an honest man who disrepects authority, but it really just makes him look like a guy who doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.