Film Review – Robin Hood

Robin Hood (M)

Directed by: Otto Bathurst

Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn

Two stars

Review by Julian Wright

What could possibly be left to tell about the tale of Robin Hood, the vigilante sporting a bow and arrow who steals from the rich and gives to the poor?

Despite the potential for a fresh perspective with newcomer writers Ben Chandler and David James Kelly and director Otto Bathurst behind this one – the answer is still: not a lot.

Life is pretty great for the privileged Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton), who comes form money and is swept up in a romance with the feisty Marion (Eve Hewson).

But Robin is suddenly drafted by order of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) to fight in the war in the Middle East , a war funded by inflated tax which is putting a financial strain on the townspeople.

Robin goes, tasked with bow and arrow as his weapon, and when he tries to save a slave from a beheading, he is captured and everyone back home told he was a casualty of war.

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When Robin stealthily returns home, he is followed by the slave’s father Little John (Jamie Foxx) who proposes revenge on the Sheriff and the two steal back…well you know the rest.

This is Robin Hood for the Marvel Universe generation – aimed mainly at teenage boys with its intense war scenes, hyper-edited action sequences and ultimately, a teaser ending suggesting this tale is not over.

Mendolsohn delivers the most watchable performance as the villain out of a cast that acts for the nose bleed seats up in the rafters. No one is going for subtlety here. But Mendolsohn devours his role and seems to relish every moment it.

The only interesting aspect is the plot thread that explores the relationship between church and state, but is lost amidst a script that otherwise favors dreadful dialogue over anything else. And the script is not even dressed up with aesthetics – the film suffers from bad CGI and large-scale sequences that are almost incoherent in some of the dimmest lighting.

Was it worth re-telling Robin Hood for the umpteenth time? Hardly. Do not be hoodwinked.

Watch the trailer here.

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