REVIEW: Robin Hood (2018)

Robin Hood has NO end credits scenes but who cares? Oh woe is the case of 2018's Robin Hood. The umpteenth reboot of the public domain vigilante, Robin of Loxley could, and really should, have gone better. Let's explore that. So to start, the cast looked pretty promising: Taron Egerton (Kingsman) as Robin Hood, Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) as Little John, Ben Mendelson (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as the Sheriff of Nottingham, and a personal favourite of mine, Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck. A lot of good people in there, and most of them did a good job, but for me this film didn't fall apart at the acting. It fell apart long before then. The screenwriters of this film must be big fans of Christopher Nolan, and thought it was about time one of his films was remade, because they just took his first two Batman movies, and did that.

It's an understandable move. They were both incredible films, based on source material that was almost certainly inspired by the Robin Hood folklore, but it wasn't pulled off with nearly the same finesse or deft hand as The Dark Knight trilogy, and just feels like a bad imitation. If the dark aesthetic and philanthropic public persona didn't already feel like an uncomfortable Dark Knight wink and nod, the Harvey Dent character is the film almost having a stroke... a Deathstroke.

I wasn't against all of it though. There were things I liked, or could appreciate at the very least. Something Robin Hood was very proud to show off in the trailers was that it featured the crusades in Arabia, but done in a modern war movie style.

The beginning of the film is a long, unsettling silence of not knowing where the enemy is, violently smash-cut with the juxtaposing scenes of actual fighting. It showcases the horror, chaos, and speed of battle, even with the low tech weaponry of the times because war is, and always was, scary.

That was quite an interesting idea, taking something like Zero Dark Thirty, but giving everyone bows and swords. I'm not sure if it necessarily worked, but it was certainly intriguing.

Another similar idea was the riot scene. Again, medieval context, with a modern day look. This section fell into the same trappings as the Crusades part, but with the added caveat of containing two of the worst scenes in the entire film. I won't describe them in detail because my editor says these should be spoiler-free reviews but for anyone who has already made the mistake of seeing this film, they both involve fire.

So in summary, I wouldn't recommend 2018's Robin Hood. Even if you wanted to see a poor man's Batman Begins, and if you were so inclined as to desire a  film where dialogue and costume design flies in the face of its old-timey setting, I still couldn't recommend this as your first port of call.

You'd probably derive more enjoyment from watching season one of Arrow and Guy Richie's King Arthur at the same time.

If you have thoughts you’d like to share about this mess, feel free to message me on Twitter @Mooscittles, or this site, @SuperInkArts.

Written by Kyle J.

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