Is 'Robin Hood' a Tea Partier?

As the hero of Ridley Scott's new action film, Russell Crowe spends more time condemning tax systems, say some critics, than entertaining

Is Robin Hood making a statement about the Tea Party?

A man who robs the rich to give to the poor may sound more like a socialist than Glenn Beck, but in Ridley Scott's new big-screen take on Robin Hood, the hero (Russell Crowe) is motivated by a corrupt taxation system and a greedy ruling class — leading many movie critics to note parallels with today's Tea Party movement. Has Ridley Scott really made the first Tea Party movie? (Watch the Robin Hood trailer below)

This could be a Tea Party origins story: "Conservatives will never again be able to complain that Hollywood ignores their interests," says Karina Longworth at The Village Voice. Robin Hood plays like a "rousing love letter to the Tea Party movement," with a hero more adept at spouting "empty, anti-government rhetoric equating taxation with slavery" than redistributing riches. Too bad the direction's "lazy" and the story "convoluted."

"Ridley Scott's Robin Hood"

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Not everyone will see the parallels: Global audiences will interpret the message differently, says Anthony Breznican in USA Today. Robin Hood might "resonate with [America's] Tea Party movement," although the movie's clear condemnation of military spending is hardly conservative-friendly — but Brits will see the film more generally as a raucous "hunger for regime change" drama.

"Russell Crowe: Moon over the French Riviera"

A more explicit Tea-Party theme might actually have helped: With its "defiant sloganeering," Robin Hood certainly plays like "one big medieval tea party," says A.O. Scott in The New York Times. But this kind of "vengeful, righteous populist passion" isn't new — it also fueled Scott and Crowe's Gladiator. More explicit politicking might actually have made Robin Hood "more fun and provocative." As it is, it's kind of dull.

"Rob the rich? Give to the poor? Oh, puh-leeze!"

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