I still don't know what this movie was trying to accomplish. It's set in medieval England and Robert Downey Jr. plays a physician who saves the King's (Sam Neill) dog and gets to hang around the court for awhile. He's then banished for trying to stick his face in the King's mistress' (Polly Walker) privilege (if you're slow, "privilege" is a euphemism for something).
The "restoration" in this movie refers to Downey Jr.'s character, which is not so much a story element as it is the result of the filmmakers realizing that nobody likes a film where the central character is a bastard. About halfway through the movie they decide to have him undergo a conversion so they can brag to the grandkids that for one hour they tried to buck the Hollywood system: "We were rebels, man!"
One should also be suspicious of any filmmaker who produces a film this good-looking. The opulence of the sets is amazing. But just whose idea was it to spend fifty million dollars on a period piece about the plague years? That's stupidity in my book.
Robert Downey Jr., an American, adopts a thick English accent for his role. When he's kicked out of the King's court he runs into Meg Ryan, an American, who has an Irish accent and walks around a little Quaker village like she's got the runs. Americans with accents are still Americans, and one gets the impression that real English actors like Ian McKellan, David Thewlis and Hugh Grant are just waiting for the opportunity to beat the crap out of Meg and Robert for stealing the juicy roles, seceding from the Empire and driving on the wrong side of the road.
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