‘Robin Hood’ squanders potential, misses target by a mile

Originally Posted on The Triangle via UWIRE

“Robin Hood” is a movie directed by Otto Bathurst, who directed the first episode of “Black Mirror,” and stars Taron Egerton in the title role — despite him never being referred to by that name. To put it bluntly, this movie is bad, in every sense of the word.

The fight sequences are way too reliant on slo-mo and it feels like choreographers went to the Michael Bay school of fight sequences, where you can’t tell what the hell is going on. The special effects are almost laughably bad, especially one chase scene on horseback. The sets never looked real, they are too clean for a poor medieval mining village; they look like a medieval section of Busch Gardens or Disney World right before the park opens for the day when all the cast members are waiting for the guests to show up.

The costumes are some of the most historically inaccurate that I have ever seen. They look like costumes that you put together the night before Halloween using stuff you found at Goodwill. I’m honestly not sure if everyone in the film is even wearing a costume; Ben Mendelsohn and Eve Hewson wear what look like normal clothes throughout the entire movie. I would in no way be shocked if some of the extras are just wearing the clothes that they showed up in on set.

Speaking of period accuracy, that ended up being another major problem I have with the film. It opens with Friar Tuck telling the audience that this is a story whose date has been lost to time. There are multiple red flags with the technology shown that are too stretched and don’t seem believable. Between the industrial steel mill, the minecarts, the rapid-fire arrow shooter, the gunpowder that they use to make bombs, and other things that were definitely not commonplace in the Middle Ages, they might as well have given them guns.

When it comes to the acting, I have seen all the actors do better before and I’m disappointed in their performances. Jamie Foxx plays this movie’s version of Little John, who is reimagined as a Muslim who wants revenge after the crusaders killed his son and he hates the English so much that he is completely fluent in their language and adopts the English name John (though as with Robin Hood, no one ever actually calls him Little John). Foxx has some unintentional funny moments and it feels like he is either trying too hard or not at all. Mendelsohn seems to simply be seeking a paycheck in this role. As the Sheriff of Nottingham, he basically gives the same performance as Director Krennic in “Rogue One” two years ago, with the addition of the classic villain trope of constantly yelling about how he hates the movie’s hero. I hate these type of villain performances and I hated it in this movie.

The title character, Taron Egerton, as I previously mentioned, is never actually referred to as Robin Hood. They call him Robin of Loxley when he is in civilian mode which is usually shortened to just Rob. They call him The Hood when he is doing vigilante work, but no one ever says the two names together, not even at the end of the film.

Beyond that, he doesn’t even give the money he steals to the needy until he overhears someone say that he should, making his motivations kind of confusing because we barely know anything about him. How old is he? Where is the rest of his family? Are they dead? Why is he so generous with his wealth when none of the other noblemen are? Why does he value human life more than the other soldiers do? Also, how can nobody figure out that Robin and The Hood are the same person? His disguise of a hood and cloth covering his mouth is not the most convincing, with no help from the fact that he never really tries to stay hidden or keep to the shadows.

It didn’t feel like an adaptation of the tale of Robin Hood; it felt more like an adaptation of a non-existent “Assassin’s Creed”-style video game that was based on a non-existent comic book that was based on the actual tale of Robin Hood. There is no King Richard, there is no Prince John, the movie takes place almost entirely in cities so we don’t get to see much of the forest and the Merry Men aren’t even in the movie. They set up a sequel at the end that could possibly have these characters in it, but due to this movie being predicted to be one of the biggest financial bombs of the year, that’s not going to happen even if we wanted it.

If I had to say anything positive about the film I would say that  the graphics during the closing credits look cool. Part of that might have to do with the fact that I knew it meant the movie was over, but I thought the designs were interesting. Don’t see it, there are plenty of better movies that you can see this holiday. Is it the worst Robin Hood movie ever made? Maybe.

Read more here: https://www.thetriangle.org/entertainment/robin-hood-squanders-potential-misses-target-by-a-mile/
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