REVIEW: Robin Hood

There’s a reason Hawkeye is the least popular Avenger…

During… um… I honestly have no clue when this movie’s set… Robin Hood (or Rob, as they call him in this hip cool new reboot) along with his mentor John steal from the rich and give to the poor, but this time in a more superhero-like fashion.

So yeah, this movie was terrible – oh my gosh, was it a sh*thole. I’m a firm believer in the idea that there is never a bad concept and instead only bad execution; although, in the case of 2018’s Robin Hood remake, I really do not know what to believe anymore… God? Are you still up there?

There are a plenty of people to blame when it comes to investigating how terrible a movie Robin Hood turned out to be, however, truthfully, it’s difficult to pinpoint whom deserves the majority of the upcoming rant. Personally, I feel like an insurance investigator trying to uncover where all the studio’s money and all the cast’s and crew’s talent went when creating this half-baked attempt at setting up a franchise literally nobody on planet Earth wanted. I mean, when 2018 started, were you thinking “oh man, I cannot wait for that Robin Hood movie in November! Dude, that sh*t looks tight!” Dude… surely you were more focused on Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Incredibles 2, Deadpool 2 or, heck, even Solo: A Star Wars Story to name a few. Anything but another Robin Hood

You know what, I genuinely could not tell you how many “Robin Hood” movies there have been over the years. The character is just one of those merry men who have been recycled countless times in cinema to hardly good effect. I can note the Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe borefest of a Robin Hood joint back in 2010, along with the Kevin Costner 1991 version where Costner famously portrayed the English archer with a blunt American accent… yeah, that happened. Real shame when the best Robin Hood film I have ever seen was the one where Robin Hood was an animated Disney fox…. Oh, and if you were wondering, yes, with the 2018 version taken into account, the animal one is still the best, by a long shot.

robin-hood-5
(Courtesy of Lionsgate, 2018)

The point of a reboot is to not only introduce new audiences to classic characters and their worlds but to also have a creator – an artist – a filmmaker – take a preestablished title and bend it into something fresh, original and of their own design and vision. Most notably Christopher Nolan unsheathed such talent when he resurrected Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy to great effect. Whereas, in this case, it’s obvious some studio executives were in a meeting one day when one of said suits rocked up late because he and his wife had been sitting up late watching Batman Begins the previous night. Somebody at the meeting would have been holding some documents with the rights to Robin Hood inside and suddenly, putting two and two together, one of the executives would have shouted, “HEY, guys, I had the best idea… hear me out!”. Someone certainly should have been fired at that point.

Not only did Robin Hood resemble a product made by a committee but none of it even felt fresh, original or the result of a singular creator’s own design and vision. The movie felt like a grab bag of all different action movies from the last few years. You want The Hurt Locker or American Sniper? Well, ok, because there are war sequences in Robin Hood that felt like they were plucked straight out of an Iraq battlefield. Would you like a bit of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword sprinkled on top as well? Well, judging from the characters and the world, you’ve come to the right place. However, atop all else, what I took great umbrage mostly with in 2018’s Robin Hood would be how blatantly, how unapologetically and how dastardly it stole from Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

There was a point in Robin Hood where suddenly the story began to follow the narrative of Batman Begins beat for beat. I’m being serious when I say the Nolan brothers could certainly sue this movie for copyright infringements, judging from how close it got to completely ripping off the screenplay for Batman Begins. Also, not to give anything away (yes, not even with garbage like this) but one character in Robin Hood had, without fault, the exact same character arc as Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight… and oh boy did it feel forced.

If we’re on the topic of characters though, let us dive deeper into what our new Robin Hood was like. 5% not Costner, 5% not Crowe and 90% not a fox, Taron Egerton’s Robin Hood (oh sorry, I meant Rob) was… not the worst part of the movie. In any other film, I think the character would have worked. The portrayal drew strongly from, you guessed it, Bruce Wayne but also Oliver Queen, who, if you didn’t know, is DC’s Green Arrow. The whole “billionaire playboy attitude by day, selfless guardian of the people by night” act has been done multiple times but Egerton’s charm at least made the character bearable and desirably watchable over the course of the movie. Everyone else though, ha ha ha – tell me about overacting.

Dear Jamie Dornan, sorry you keep getting gigs in bad movies (Fifty Shades of Grey, anyone?), but hey, maybe if you didn’t give such stale performances like this one, that wouldn’t be an issue. Meanwhile, Jaime Foxx has seemingly lost it. Between this and Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 I can no longer tell if this Foxx is the same Foxx who won the Academy Award for Best Actor whilst also simultaneously being nominated in the Supporting Actor category all in the same year. But, wow, here in Robin Hood, the guy was cheesier than the moon itself. I was not sure at what points he was being serious or being funny, because everything he did was, honestly, really hysterical. Speaking of funny, may I add, Ben Mendelsohn, who could have easily just moved his character’s base of operations to a modern-day office and he would have been the exact same business man villain he portrayed in Ready Player One, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and, coincidentally, The Dark Knight Rises. Yeah, and listen, I really like Mendelsohn as an actor and highly rate him as one of the best, however these samey screaming bad guy roles need to stop or else Mendelsohn could quite easily slip into self-parody. The average human being can only take Mendelsohn barking orders at blank faced cronies like an inmate on the ward in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for so long…

To touch on the production design and how everything in this movie genuinely looked – I never thought I could witness a visibly expensive film look so poo. 2018’s Robin Hood was so damn ugly to look at with bland city skylines and CGI nightlife with flames burning in every conceivable corner as if the city had Tourette’s. The action sequences were disgusting in appearance looking like something from the cheap sleight of slo-mo 300 rip-offs like The Legend of Hercules. I really appreciated the film’s ability to incorporate some real arrow work here and there, but good technique on film does not show up if the cinematography does not work. Also, furtherly on the production design… did anybody know when this movie was meant to be set? Let alone the depicted civilisation undergoing the Crusades whilst also, seemingly, an Industrial revolution with mines and arrow machine guns all at the same time, like what the actual f***? Nothing added up. Robin Hood was an movie which had not done its homework and as result could not even identify what era it existed in. Oh, and it showed – it showed. Especially in the clothing; every actor looked like they decided to wear their own day-to-day clothes from out their own wardrobe, rather than receive real costuming. The clothes looked so ridiculously modern that the leading lady, Eve Hewson, could have been on set for a film set in a nightclub rather than supposedly medieval times. I mean, come on people; either get your facts straight or completely commit to the absurdity of the time frame you’ve decided to adhere to!

Did I mention Robin Hood featured some horrendous opening and closing narration? The movie literally opened with some random yapping from Friar Tuck telling the audience that the movie’s story would be unlike any other Robin Hood story seen before. The narration then closed off the movie with… you know, I have no recollection of how the movie ended – and I only saw it in the last 24 hours! By the way, to whomever wrote the opening to this flick: the movie’s story was not only exactly like “any other Robin Hood story” but it was also like any other Batman story or King Arthur story. Ridiculous and kind of sad, really.

I could have looked up who directed this movie, but I decided against it, because the direction in Robin Hood was just… well, there was none. If anything, 2018’s Robin Hood was nothing less than another shameless attempt to build another superhero franchise from a character who could work in said mould but is not popular or fresh enough to establish an audience or fan base. Let me reiterate: nobody in 2018 cares about Robin Hood. Maybe, in a decade’s time, if Hollywood really cannot think of anything else to do, then maybe bring back the archer, on the proviso there are fresh, new ideas to be explored, but currently the character is stale and this 2018 version only proved that so. Guys, the Ridley Scott one came out only eight years ago – EIGHT YEARS! Nobody is on their knees begging that much for another Robin Hood movie that quickly. Nobody… but if you are indeed someone begging for a Robin Hood movie, please, write in to me – I want to know who treated you badly.

I will say though, I was thoroughly entertained during Robin Hood. The overacting and pure dumbness, really had me giggling to myself. However, does that mean I would freely give Robin Hood a pass? Definitely not. 2018’s Robin Hood made it its mission to rob from the poor (minded) and give back to the filthy rich… only this time, I don’t think it’s going to work.

Robin Hood, without a doubt in my mind, belongs in the… THEATRE OF DOOM

 

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