Simple Review: Meh in tights
There must be a drought of original scripts being sent to Hollywood. It seems every other weekend there is a reboot or remake of some popular film which studios are hoping can generate a renewed franchise and the cash that comes along with it. This weekend we have Robin Hood another attempt to tell the legend of the thief with a heart of gold and the aim of a sniper. I have to say I have a soft spot in my heart for Robin of Loxley as I remember watching the Disney cartoon version as a kid, as well as watching the Errol Flynn version on TV. ( Still a great flick) So, I decided to check out Robin Hood to see if they could bring anything new to the tale. Did Robin Hood hit the bullseye, or did it cut my heart out with a spoon? ( God bless Alan Rickman) Grab your bow and arrow and let’s take aim at this review!
Do I really need to give a plot summary for a Robin Hood movie? You know the story, and this version isn’t changing anything that has been told before. Personally, I like my Robin Hood more on the fun, fictional side than other filmmakers trying to tell his tale as realistic for the period of history that they can. Robin should be a swashbuckling tale of heroism and the need to do what is right in the face of tyranny. Robin Hood does take the more fun route to tell the legend looking to keep our collective A.D.D. satisfied with action and humor. That is about all this film does right, unfortunately, but I was able to find a few positives to highlight before we get to the negatives. I am just that good!!
The biggest thing Robin Hood has going for it is Taron Egerton as the man in the green hood. I have enjoyed Taron in The Kingsman movies as well as Eddie the Eagle, and he brings the right mixture of fun and swagger to this Robin. ( and an English accent) I give him the most credit for lifting this movie into a watchable mess because he is having fun in the role. Ben Mendelsohn plays his typical main villain role, and while it is mostly one note, he is becoming good at this type of over the top bad guy so it is still fun to watch. He is not as much fun as Alan Rickman was in the role, but his Sherrif of Nottingham is the right amount of vicious to be a true threat to our heroes. Jamie Foxx is ok as John and he does have fun with this type of role, but that accent is all over the place. Maybe he was paying tribute to Kevin Costner.
Director Otto Bathurst does his best to throw a ton of action at us throughout the film. There are some exciting action scenes involving Robin and John trying to rob the rich as much as possible. Of course, there are feats of superhuman archery as Robin shows the bad guys how deadly he can be. It is amazing how he never misses and the bad guys have the aim of drunken stormtroopers, but that comes with the territory. There is a fun horse chase through the castle and up some stairs that was exciting until it went all CGI on me! Outside of that, there wasn’t much to stay positive with. Eve Hewson was easy on the eyes as Marion, although her role has not much to it. Now I am struggling….the popcorn was tasty!
I have to be honest, I almost feel bad for pointing out the negatives in Robin Hood as it is so easy it isn’t fair. It starts early with the narrator telling you to forget everything you know about the legend, then the film proceeds to hit the same notes as every other Robin Hood movie. Why not try to do something different? ANYTHING different. I guess there was no arrow shooting contest so that makes this one different. As I stated earlier, Marion doesn’t have much to do in this movie. She is Robins’ love interest, but it never feels like there are sparks between them or that Robin is willing to risk it all to keep her safe. Marion doesn’t need to be a “damsel in distress” but she does need to be in danger to add tension to Robin’s mission. Instead, she is just kind of there. If they cut her completely out it wouldn’t have changed anything in the film. The worst part is the filmmakers tried to make a love triangle in the movie to set up a sequel. You didn’t fool us, you sassy filmmakers!!
For all of the action, this movie doesn’t have any memorable moments. Everything happens then goes away from memory just as quickly. The director has mostly television credits in his past and you can tell as the action doesn’t feel big and is shot in a way that looks like a television show. The script is just as unmemorable. That is this films biggest crime, it is just unremarkable and pointless. There is nothing new to see here, nor are there any stylish shots or interesting dialogue to keep you talking about Robin Hood after you leave the theater.
It is time to end this rambling review and as you can tell I am not going to recommend seeing this in the theater. It is not a terrible movie, just not very interesting despite a valiant effort by Taron Egerton. One can only hope the next filmmaker that attempts to tackle the legend of Robin Hood brings something new and exciting to the screen. Until then watch The Adventures of Robin Hood or Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves or even the classic Disney cartoon version and have fun visiting Sherwood Forest!
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As always, thanks for your time!
The Movie Psycho