Robin Hood (2018)

Out Now On-Demand

Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton), a war-hardened Crusader, and a Moorish commander (Jamie Foxx) mount a revolt against the corrupt English crown in this alternate take on the classic Robin Hood story. Co-stars Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan, Ben Mendelsohn and Tim Minchin.

Did we really need another Robin Hood film? Well, to this Hood's credit, it states its case pretty well in the opening few minutes. Declarations of income inequality, fear-mongering from the wealthy, and even showing the importance of counting every single vote parallels finely with today's political weather forecast while staying true to the traditional tale of Nottingham. Unfortunately, it sets up a good target only to fire multiple arrows into its own foot.

The main fault lies with Robin Hood himself. While Taron Egerton and his Kingsman-ly charisma prove a fitting choice for the charming thief, he's never convincingly shown to be a man who feels for the common people suffering at the hands of an oppressive system. We don't even see him interacting with the poor and needy since he's distracted by a tunnel-vision motivation to win the heart of Marian (Eve Hewson) once more—a fact he even states out loud at one point. It turns a man of the people into a man who really wants his girlfriend back that just so happens to be to the advantage of the people. He's ultimately not that noble, he just stumbles into nobleness.

The supporting cast can't elevate things, either. It's fun to see Ben Mendelsohn's sheriff spitting out childish threats of violence—"I'll boil you in your own piss!"—but this seasoned scene-chewer is only given finger food to work with. Jamie Foxx plays Little John like the Morpheus to Hood's Neo, serving as a stern coach in numerous montages while lightly mocking him for trademark comedic value. He also has a son that died but the film seems to forget about that till the very end.

The action also feels like it blew the cobwebs off The Matrix playbook with its love of super-slo-mo, long dark coats, and exploding concrete pillars. An odd amount of ropey CGI and some paper-shredder editing round off a bland visual experience for anyone looking to leave their brain at the door. A solid sequence in war-torn Arabia stands out because it actively defies what I've previously mentioned. Unfortunately, it's also at the start of the film.

Machine stitched costumes aside, at least the production holds some strength with hefty interior designs and nicely rendered city backdrops. It makes you wish this film visited the lush forests it only hints at. Maybe it will with a potential sequel indicated by the tacked-on final minutes. But do we really need another Robin Hood? It's one this film can't justify.

Empire (UK)

press

Like Guy Ritchie's King Arthur, this tries hard to do something new and exciting with an old formula. It quickly makes you wish for something more traditional and straightforward.

New York Times

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The plot is twisty in a perfunctory way, the action predictably explosive, the sought-after exhilaration nonexistent.

The Guardian

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This bloated, featureless, CGI-heavy movie is not so much stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, as stealing from Guy Ritchie, Batman, Two-Face and a few others - and not giving back all that much to the audience.

Hollywood Reporter

press

In a just world, everyone involved in this mess would be required to perform some sort of public penance.

Screen International

press

Grimly upbeat rather than merry, and relentless rather than frenetic, the film's gritty zest is splashed across the screen with momentum, but also to the point of overuse.

Variety (USA)

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"Robin Hood" is no classic, but if it sometimes seems like it's trying to be "Baz Luhrmann's Robin Hood," more power to it.

The Telegraph (UK)

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Mendelsohn is far down the Christoph Waltz Alley of must-we-again villainy by this stage... For his own good and ours, he needs to be firmly refused access to any despot's podium for the rest of time.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)

press

There are some superb set-pieces, a lot of pretty well choreographed fights and battles, and just enough story to hang it all together.

Its a bit of a laugh

Its like standing on the Titanic as it sinks. You can either scream and cry, or just have a bit of a laugh at your predicament. Theres not much more you can do either way. Thats this movie.


Doesnt even deserve 1 star

Worse mainstream targeted film of 2018