The character of Robin Hood has appeared in countless movies and has been part of folklore for over 600 years.
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In recent times we’ve seen him as a cartoon Fox with Disney, an upper class twit in Time Bandits, a Prince of Thieves, a Man in Tights and a less than merry version played by Russell Crowe.
So when the question was asked as to whether or not we wanted or needed another Robin Hood movie, who the fuck at Summit Entertainment or Lionsgate signed the cheque and answered “yes”?!?!
I would have loved to see how they pitched this movie and what drugs were involved. There’s just no good reason I can think of to make what would have to be the biggest waste of time of 2018.
Director Otto Bathurst—who has directed a few episodes of Peaky Blinders and Black Mirror—helms a shocker of a screenplay by Ben Chandler and David James Kelly—who are better known for nothing much—that superherofies the character of Robin Hood. He’s a Medieval Batman with no gadgets, bad jokes and a costume that looks like it was purchased from H&M during the Black Friday sales.
What’s all that about?
The story sees a wealthy Robin shack up with maid Marian who he meets when she tries to steal a horse from his stable. They engage in an implied ongoing shag fest until Robin is drafted by the Sheriff of Nottingham to go and fight in the crusades. You know he’s been conscripted because he gets a big letter saying “Draft Notice” that looks like something Wile E. Coyote sources from Acme. He goes off to fight for England, meets Little John who is a Moor on the opposing side. He returns to England, finds out his land’s been repossessed by the Sheriff in the name of the war effort, meets little John again, finds Marian, robs from the rich, gives to the poor and leads the people in a revolt against the Sheriff’s oppressive regime.
Who’s in it?
The cast are all highly capable actors that have been given a pile of shit to make a pavlova out of. Taron Egerton who I find to be quite likeable is stuck with this wannabe hip reimagined Bruce Wayne, I mean Luke Skywalker I mean Robin of Loxley. Jamie Foxx who we know can turn in Oscar winning performances if he puts his mind to it plays an off the mark and under-utilised Alfred, I mean Obi Wan, I mean Mr Myagi, I mean Little John. Ben Mendelsohn (one of my favourite Australian actors) is typecast, playing director Krennic, I mean that guy from Ready Player One, I mean the Sheriff of Nottingham. Another Aussie, The incredibly talented Tim Minchin makes his motion picture debut as an utterly forgettable Friar Tuck. Jamie Dornan is fifty shades of shit as Will Scarlett. F Murray Abraham pops ups as Cardinal who cares. And Eve Hewson, daughter of none other than U2’s Bono, is just awful as Marian with one of the most jarring accents I’ve seen since the time anything Kevin Costner did, he did for you.
It’s made infinitely worse by some really poor design choices. The main cast all look like they picked up their outfits during the spring sale at Westfield as opposed to anything even close to what the time period would dictate.
It’s also really easy to pick up who the central characters are because they show up looking like they’ve had a bath (which we know was far from an English tradition at the time) set against the backdrop of grubby peasants. This is particularly the case with Marian who’s working in the slums but looks immaculate in every scene. Painfully so at the start of the film when she’s a peasant horse thief, mask on tits out in a funky blue number she could have picked up from Zara.
The first thing that happens in this movie is Tuck chiming in as the narrator to tell the audience to “forget what you know” about the legend of Robin Hood which means they’re just gonna make shit up and don’t give a fuck about authenticity.
The action pieces suck. In the early Crusade scenes they’ve tried to do some weird Black Hawk Down meets Monty Python and the Holy Grail shit where apparently it’s practical to use a bow and arrow in close quarter combat. There’s a Rocky 4 style training montage that involves Robin bench-pressing wagon wheels. The whole thing looks like it’s been shot in an amusement park and they top it off with a terrible CGI horse chase across the rooftops. Don’t even get me started on the machine gun cross bows!
It’s not even a dumb popcorn movie. It fails on all fronts. The only time I actually laughed was when they used the final scene to set up a sequel, which is never gonna happen.
If this movie was an internal organ it would be your appendix, it serves no real purpose and you can totally live without it.