Liberal newspapers think alike. In Friday's Washington Post, film critic Michael O'Sullivan seconded the emotion of New York Times critic A.O. Scott that there were "tea party" elements in the new Russell Crowe version of "Robin Hood." O'Sullivan also lamented there was "precious little of the socialist stuff" that's usually associated with the Hood legend's rob-and-redistribute routine. O'Sullivan began:
Dark and polemic, Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood" is less about a band of merry men than a whole country of really angry ones. At times, it feels like a political attack ad paid for by the tea party movement, circa 1199. Set in an England that has been bankrupted by years of war in the Middle East -- in this case, the Crusades -- it's the story of a people who are being taxed to death by a corrupt government, under an upstart ruler who's running the country into the ground. It asks: What's a man of principle to do?
If you said, "Steal from the rich, and give to the poor," you must be thinking of the old Robin Hood. The correct answer here is: "Don't retreat, reload." There are more arrows flying every which way than you've ever seen -- through the face, the neck, the chest, the back. It's a pincushion of a movie.
There is, however, precious little of the socialist stuff that we normally associate with the man in tights in this new, politicized version, which ends precisely where most tellings of the legend begin: with Robin Hood being declared an outlaw and moving to a camp in the woods with Maid Marion, Little John, Friar Tuck and the rest of them.
It's funny that O'Sullivan would find precious little socialism and then call the new version "politicized," as if "the socialist stuff" isn't a politicized scenario.