Excited for a rare movie & dinner date with my hubby today, we had planned to go see the new take on Robin Hood, with Russell Crowe & Cate Blanchett, directed by Ridley Scott. That is, until I researched reviews of the film (when you only go to a movie theater a couple times a year, it is not something to be taken lightly) and found it to be pretty universally panned.
I was surprised it wasn't better received, with the cast and director it has. However, the consensus seemed to be it was more CGI than substance. This is a trend I've noticed in Hollywood over the last fifteen to twenty years as technology has opened new frontiers in visual effects. Many directors are more focused on what they can do with effects to wow the audience, while the story gets kicked to the curb. I mean, the story of Robin Hood has been around since the 15th century, there must be something to it, right? Seems like you'd have to really go out of your way to screw it up.
So, what did we end up seeing? Well, pathetic as it sounds, we had never seen Iron Man, so we rented the DVD last night in a desperate cram session to be prepared to see Iron Man 2 today. Shocking as it may seem, I actually liked the sequel better than the original. I thought the backstory of how he became Iron Man dragged. In fact, I yelled out at the screen, "Just finish the friggin iron suit and get out of the Middle East already!"
You know, in a comic movie you expect to have to suspend disbelief a lot, but I really liked the supporting characters in the sequel (Samuel L. Jackson with an eye patch! Mickey Rourke with a Russian accent!), the dialogue wasn't too over-the-top, with many genuinely funny moments, and there was a nice balance of emotion and action. I especially liked the relationship between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.
I guess there is hope for the marriage of CGI and story. Take a lesson, Mr. Scott.