||In the new Robin Hood, Russell Crowe's iconic medieval hero wears no tights, shows little interest in redistribution of wealth, scarcely bothers with the Sheriff of Nottingham, fights alongside Maid -- sorry, Lady Marion and all but forces King John to sign the Magna Carta. In other words, director Ridley Scott and his producers were so determined this would not be your father's Robin Hood that a checklist of familiar incidents and legendary exploits to avoid must have been handed to writers Brian Helgeland (story and screenplay), Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris (story)...The result is less a Robin Hood story than an epic action movie that sees Crowe at the center of English history at the turn of the 13th century. It's Gladiator in Sherwood Forest -- only, for God's sake, don't mention Sherwood Forest either...Scott supplies a supple visual design and terrific action choreography while Helgeland's screenplay conjures up robust characters that often lack dimension but make up for this with vigor. The film, which premieres Wednesday at the Festival de Cannes as the fest's opening movie, could be a crowd-pleaser. If that crowd extends from devotees of the Robin of Olde to teen action fans and admirers of Crowe and Cate Blanchett, Universal may have an international hit...Crowe's masculine swagger is certainly matched by Blanchett's feminine bravado. She's his match any day. This is the heart of the movie but it beats too faintly...Perhaps this film downplays Friar Tuck (Mark Addy), the Sheriff of Nottingham (Matthew Macfadyen) and the Merry Men (Scott Grimes, Kevin Durand and Alan Doyle) at its peril. The scheming barons, royals and turncoats would be more at home in Blanchett's Queen Elizabeth series than a Robin Hood movie...Yet Scott has an eye -- and it's a very good one -- for sieges of castles, charging horsemen, hand-to-hand combat, glistening swords arcing through the air and deadly arrows whistling toward helpless targets. Streitenfeld's full-bore, multi-theme score beautifully enhances the visual splendors in John Mathieson's graceful cinematography while the stunt work, CGI and visual effects are all first class.