Movie Review: Robin Hood - A Tea Party Tax Avenger?

Today I just saw the new Robin Hood movie directed by Ridley Scott. I was SURPRISED. Not just because I liked it better than I thought I would. Not because it was political, but because the message was so different from what you expect of the man who steals from the rich to give to the poor. And mostly that the message was so eloquently SPOT ON.

I never judge a movie’s quality by what it’s trying to say. I judge it by how well it says it. Avatar was an amazing movie, expressed itself powerfully, even though its message was juvenile. Not only did Robin Hood have an excellent message, but it brought it out in dramatic form so expertly.

This movie was about taxes. Yes, taxes. And it drives home the point of what taxes mean in the backstory. Showing how in 12th Century England people of the country are breaking their backs to support themselves in harsh times, only to see what they’ve produced and earned ripped from their hands by rulers demanding that everyone pay their fair share. Their fare share for the rulers’ endless wars and other endless expensive spending projects. Eventually it gets to be too much and the people organize together in mass for a tax revolt. Hmm… Tea Party?

I’m google-ing online now and finding many critics are very upset that this is not the classic steal from the rich to give to the poor Robin Hood. There’s no other such socialist undertones that imply rising higher than others is inherently wrong. No, instead there’s a demand on the King that a charter be drafted to limit his powers so that he cannot spend or tax without the consent of the governed. Robin Hood shouts to the crowd “What we ask for is Liberty. Liberty by Law!”, and makes the case to the King that a land of free people will create a stronger more prosperous England, as well as create citizens more loyal than any King enjoys.

[Check out the Trailer Below]

Yup, the movie’s message is a nearly explicit rallying cry for the Tea Party movement. And feels like an attack on both Bush and Obama. I couldn’t agree more with the libertarian points it makes viscerally. That yes, we do happen to use the government services we are taxed for, but to assume that any ruler can and should make better spending decisions with your income than you, it’s not only presumptuous, it is villainous. It’s theft, it’s brutal and it’s hurting your life. And for what? For inferior services operated by unaccountable self righteous “princely” bureaucrats.

Of course this is not just a political story. It’s a cool movie otherwise; intelligent and engaging. The backstory of injustice affects all the subplots and drives the theme of finding strength and courage and rising up to face challenges head on. The motto repeated throughout the movie is “Rise and Rise Again, Until Lambs become Lions”. This is an epic action film, brutal and bloody, and in line with Braveheart. The acting was great, Cate Blanchett was phenomenal, Russel Crowe was powerful, the production was engaging, and Ridley Scott continues to be incapable of directing anything less than excellent. It probably should have been titled “Robin Hood Begins” because it’s a prequel that leaves off where the classic tale begins. The story was a little hard to follow at the beginning, but it all makes sense in short time. At over 2 1/2 hours, you are hereby warned not to get a large drink.

Honestly, I had no desire to see Robin Hood, I never gave a damn about the classic story. A friend asked me to join him today and gave me only 15 minutes notice. I’m glad I didn’t turn him down.

I have no doubt that Ridley Scott and the writer Brian Helgeland would deny any connection with the Tea Party, and I’m sure this movie has nothing directly to do with that movement. Still, it explicitly and strongly supports the same ideals that the Tea Party stands for, so I can safely say, if you want to understand what the Tea Party is actually about, this movie serves as an excellent introduction.

Check out the Trailer: