Robin Hood (2018)
Leads: Taron Edgerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan
Director: Otto Bathurst
The plot for Robin Hood is nothing new before but in this version of events, the writers do take some creative liberties. The narrator of the story tells the audience that he knows we are all familiar with the story so he won’t bore us with too many backstory details. He even goes as far as to state that he can’t remember exactly the year that the story took place. This is easily deduced within a few minutes into the tale. We are to forget what we already know. Robin (Taron Edgerton) meets and falls in love with beautiful Marian (Eve Hewson) and all is well until Robin is drafted into the Crusades.
The story jumps forward four years and shows us Robin and his crew well ensconced the war. Robin, who is the subleader of his team, takes some reckless actions to save a captured teammate. He gets caught in a fight with a tough Arab (who we later come to know as Little John) played by Jamie Foxx. Robin’s actions get him sent home from the war. Upon his return, he finds his lands and house seized by the Sheriff of Nottingham as part of on-going war effort. Robin also has to come to terms with the fact that Marian has moved Will Tillman (Jamie Dornan) on after being told he was killed in the war.
The people of Nottingham have basically been wiped out monetarily and now being forced to work in the mines per direction of the Sheriff. Robin soon comes to realize the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) is an unsavory character. A fight to correct the many injustices ensues and the remainder of the story arc follows a semi-familiar path.
What I liked:
I found this retelling to be pretty enjoyable. The creative liberties taken by the writers changed the film up and made it just a bit more modern. Edgerton does a good job of playing Robin in this role. He gets himself into a few good scrapes that require brains and lots of brawn. Foxx provides a good bit of comic relief as Robin’s partner Little John. Mendelsohn does a decent job playing the smarmy bad guy. It’s very reminiscent of his Ready Player One character that people love to hate. Dornan as Will Tillman is an interesting addition to the film. He is a character who is wavering on which side to join. The film was very well paced and had plenty of action scenes and just enough romance to keep people happy.
What Could Have Been Improved:
While most of the liberties taken in the film helped to spice it up; there are some that just left me scratching my head. In the movie, Robin has a beloved, embroidered long coat that he wears everywhere. Upon return to Nottingham, Little John cuts the coat into a jacket to stop it from slowing Robin down. Throughout the feature I kept thinking that someone would recognize the coat as having belonged to Robin and out him; however, everyone seems oblivious.
There’s also the issue of Robin’s mask which is little more than a blue bandana. It seems often to be falling during the more physical fights. No one seems to take true notice that it’s Robin of Locksley underneath except for Marian. She finally gets to see him up close and calls him out on it. I also wish that writer and director would have provided a bit more backstory to both Dornan and Foxx’s characters since they are integral characters; though Dornan maybe more so based on the ending.
Overall Score 3.5/5
Review by Samantha Larsen, Back Lot 605 Contributing Writer.