Title – Robin Hood (2018)
Director – Otto Bathurst (feature debut)
Cast – Taron Edgerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Tim Minchin, Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan, F. Murray Abraham
Plot – A re-imaging of the classic Robin Hood (Edgerton) tale as Robin and his off-siders that include Little John (Foxx) and Friar Tuck (Minchin) mount a violent revolt against the rule of the evil Sherriff of Nottingham (Mendelsohn).
“This won’t be like any war you’re used to”
Review by Eddie on 23/11/2018
We arguably didn’t need yet another cinematic reimaging of the age old tale of Robin Hood and his merry band of followers, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, but after the last big screen treatment faired so poorly in the form of the Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott version in 2010, I for one was totally up for another stab at the classic tale, aware that the material still has the potential to entertain now just as well as it first did many moons ago.
Sadly the new Robin Hood is frankly not that good, an often bizarre and mostly charmless affair that sees Robin of Loxley become some type of Assassin’s Creed reject that also masquerades as a GQ fashion model, as debut filmmaker Otto Bathhurst gets caught up in the joys of slow-motion instead of getting caught up on making his characters more intriguing or his film more fun.
Unfortunately delivered in a mostly po-faced fashion that sits unevenly with how over the top and silly many of its big action scenes are (a machine gun like arrow barrage in Arabia or a horse chase along rooftops spring instantly to mind), Robin Hood wants to be taken seriously but it’s impossible to do so, when the action and scenarios are all so off-putting and even if the action beats and slight thrills you get from some of these scenes make the film tolerable as such, there not going to change many people’s opinions on the movie, feelings of which are likely to be largely negative when you look at early press and box-office results.
More comfortable with the action scenes than he is the character beats, Bathurst leads this negativity bringing Robin Hood down as he struggles to get much out of his capable cast, with Robin giving Kingsman breakout star Taron Edgerton his worst big-screen role yet, as the young performer struggles with making Robin a charismatic hero and has an equally hard time forcing any chemistry between himself and Eve Hewson as Marion, with the daughter of Bono fairing quite badly in her highest profile role yet.
Side players don’t fare much better, with Australian tressure Tim Minchin fairing best with his role as Friar Tuck, while the seemingly constantly struggling Jamie Foxx as Little John and the charm free Jamie Dornan as Will add little to proceedings.
Outside of these unfortunate elements one of the most disappointing and eye-rolling aspects of this Robin Hood is yet another stereotypical shady bad guy turn from Ben Mendelsohn.
An unquestionably talented performer and one of our countries best acting exports, Mendelsohn delving into yet another villain role as the nefarious Sherriff of Nottingham after similar turns in the likes of Ready Player One, Rogue One, TV show Bloodline and The Dark Knight Rises begs the question of how hard the actor is trying at the moment, and while his turn here isn’t “bad”, it’s certainly tiresome with all things considered, with the time now for Mendelsohn to break away from these type of roles.
Final Say –
With a handful of lively action scenes and some very brief snippets of fun, Robin Hood shows glimpses of what might’ve been, but with a lack of charisma, energy or smarts, this ends up being yet another version of the hooded hero that fails to hit the mark, with Robin Hood likely to be one of the year’s biggest financial flops.
2 medieval Molotov’s out of 5