robin hood

DIRECTOR: otto bathurst (feature debut)
STARRING: taron egerton, jamie foxx, eve hewson, and jamie dornan

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

★★

Robin of Loxley a war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance.

There's a couple of scenes near the end of Robin Hood where in one shot Friar Tuck has glasses on and in the very next shot they're gone. Pretty blatant continuity errors if ever there was. And that kinda sums up Robin Hood. Even the ultra charismatic Taron Egerton can't save this mess. 

The tale opens with Lord Robin of Loxley falling in love with and marrying Marion. Then tragedy strikes: Robin is conscripted to fight in the crusades in the Holy Land. Injured after trying to save a Moor from being murdered, Robin is shipped home where he finds his land under the rule of the tyrannical Sheriff. Robin, along with a Moorish ally, set out to free the people of Nottingham.

 

Now I've got to give Robin Hood its dues: the bow and arrow action scenes are fast and furious. Sure they may be a bit over the top but they're fun to watch. Taron Egerton is at his charismatic best and proves, even in this shambles, that he really is one of Hollywood's leading men. 

Unfortunately the plot is just chaotic. Characters make decisions with no real conviction and so you don't really know what is driving them. Robin steals what appears to be a small amount a couple of times from the Sheriff and he's suddenly a folk hero and people are nailing up hoods all over town. Its just way too fast and like a lot of this plot it doesn't ring true. It just feels off. 

And that goes for the tone and the look of the film too. It seems like there were seven production designers with seven different visions for the film yet they were all mixed into one. One moment its medieval England the next Robin is wearing what looks like a kevlar vest as if he's in modern day Afghanistan. Now I'm all for changing it up, but commit to one tone and go for it otherwise its way too disorientating for the audience. Also if Marion is living in poverty in a coal mine how the heck does she have any money to buy sexy lace pyjamas? 

Its really disappointing to be honest. With the cast and the money they obviously spent on it, Robin Hood could have and should have been a way better film. Even Guy Ritchie's reimagining of the Arthurian legend King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was better than this. 

 

Even the charismatic Taron Egerton can't save this mess. 

★★

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Robin Hood is available on DVD, Blu-ray, 4KUHD and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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