Robin Hood takes everything we know about the legend but leaves us asking the question as to whether or not the film is really necessary.
Ben Chandler and David James Kelly’s screenplay takes us back to Hood’s days prior to living in the Sherwood Forest. If there’s anything new offered to the audience, it’s the origin of Hood (Taron Egerton) and Marian’s (Eve Hewson) relationship. Just as soon as we get to know the couple. Robin of Loxley is drafted into the military. He’s sent off to serve the crown in the Third Crusades of Arabia. Because of actions that transpire during the Crusades, Robin is pronounced dead and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) seizes his property. We eventually learn that Marian holds a memorial and moves on with her life. By the time that Robin returns from war, Marian has met love interest Will Tillman (Jamie Dornan).
Back in England, John (Jamie Foxx) and Robin start making their plans for vengeance. Both have reasons to hate the Sheriff and these two were bound to bond eventually. We know that Robin steals from the rich to give to the poor. The film, more or less, gives us the beginning of that legend. The thing that I keep going back to is that the film ends in such a cheesy way that it’s not even forgivable! All the thrills and action packed in just under two hours just vanish with a trace. All this time, we–as an audience–assume that the Sheriff portrayed by Ben is the famed Sheriff of Nottingham. That title belongs to someone else.
In every version of the story taking place Friar Tuck (Tim Minchin) is always working for the church while finding ways to help Robin. In this version of the story–which sets up an undeserved sequel, Tuck ends up losing his post. How is he supposed to help Robin from the inside when he’s out of a job?
It’s been some eight years since the last Robin Hood film was released. Do you remember that one? Let me remind you. Ridley Scott directed the film–only it wasn’t well received upon release. Russell Crowe led a star-studded cast, which included Oscar Issac as King John. But how much more much audiences have to take with these never-ending stories of Robin Hood?!? I don’t mind a good film, don’t get me wrong, but aren’t audiences due for a good film?!? Newsflash: the new film isn’t good either.
Where Robin Hood steals from the rich to give to the poor, this Robin Hood story will only steal your time better spent doing something else.
DIRECTOR: Otto Bathurst
SCREENWRITERS: Ben Chandler and David James Kelly
CAST: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin, and Jamie Dornan