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Robin Hood: Beyond Sherwood Forest

Okay, so my last two movie review have explored the depth of awful movies, from hilariously awful to beyond funny bad and just plain disappointing. Well, going through the Sy-Fy channel's schedule, I saw the movie "Robin Hood: Beyond Sherwood Forest" scheduled for eleven pm. A Sy-Fy original at a late night slot? This looked promising. According the the description, the Sheriff of Nottingham unleashed a shape shifting monster on Sherwood to defeat Robin Hood.
So I hit the record button, and the next day I sat down for what I was sure was going to be a hilariously awful destruction of a classic story. And oh man, what I saw...was surprisingly good. I mean, it wasn't a great movie, but for the absurd premise, it really wasn't that bad at all. The shape shifting monster really has very little to do with the story, and only shows up about four times. As a matter of fact, if they had just taken the whole fantasy monster thing out, it could have been a really good  version of Robin Hood.

So what is the story? Well, while Robin's father and the future Sheriff were out on a hunt, a dragon-like beast swoops down and slays their superior. They manage to subdue the beast, and now Robin's father is the rightful new Sheriff. Of course, that doesn't work out well for Robin's dad, who the Sheriff kills in front of his son, who was just in the middle of trying to impress the young Maid Marion.

We fast-forward Robin is a man, fighting for King Richard in his absence, stealing from the rich, giving to the poor, you know, the Robin Hood thing. Maid Marion has grown up and is being promised to a man that she doesn't love, Prince John. What a twist. Anyway, she runs away and Prince John demands that the Sheriff get her back and destroy Robin Hood once and for. The Sheriff decides to send his secret weapon, the shape shifter that's he's kept captive all these years. Now Robin Hood has to unravel the mystery of this new creature, protect Maid Marion, and avenge the death of his father.

So the acting and dialogue is surprisingly good for the genre and premise, and the story, minus the whole shape shifting monster thing, isn't all that bad. It's your average vengeance story for Robin and the average getting out of an arranged marriage story for Marion, but both are done reasonably well. Again if we just removed any mention of that horrible CGI fantasy creature, this could be really good.

As it stands, it's objectively average, but I will give it props for being more of a Robin Hood story than Russell Crowe's Robin Hood.
Yes Crowe, Sy-Fy did it better than you.