Robin Hood (2018)
Robin Hood (2018)
Rating1.0 / 5
Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn
November 22 2018
Stylistically confused and narratively dreadful, this new Robin Hood feels dated before even beginning.
I should have known right from the moment Taron Egerton’s ominous narration warns that what we’re about to witness is not the Robin Hood story as we know it, but a thrilling and uncharted version of the great folktale. It comes from experience that movies that think they’re doing something new and exciting often end up delivering the opposite.
I’m not sure where to begin, really. I could talk about the dialogue, which is boilerplate and often nonsensical. I could discuss the action, which is loud and professional and is of course edited with the patience of a hyperactive puppy. I could ponder the movie’s themes, which work because the themes of Robin Hood work, but they’re washed away when a sequel is teased. The bottom line is Robin Hood made me and, judging from the stillness of the theatre air, everyone else uncomfortable.
But let’s say for a moment that you are entirely new to the legend of Robin Hood, and that this iteration, directed by Otto Bathurst, is your introduction. You’d need to know that Robin (Egerton), once a lord of Nottingham, is whisked off to fight in the Crusades and returns to find his manor in ruins, his paramour Marian (Eve Hewson) in the arms of another man (Jamie Dornan),and the entire town under the pressing thumb of the despotic Sheriff (Ben Mendelsohn). The people are oppressed and so Robin, filled with vengeful spite, ignites their rebellious spirit by robbing the rich to give to the poor.
None of that, though, explains why the filmmakers decided to jumble up history so that customs and fashion are out of place. Or how the villains could be so daft as to outline their master plan in immense detail with Robin in the same room. Robin is a hero who should be cocky and brazen. That’s lacking here, as it did with Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner before. In truth, if you want the last great Robin Hood picture, you’d do well with Mel Brooks’ Men in Tights (1993).
Image courtesy of StudioCanal