“Robin Hood” stars Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin, and Jamie Dornan. Released on November 21, 2018, the film is about an outlaw who leads a group of people against the Sheriff of Nottingham.
The film is directed by Otto Bathurst, who is known for directing episodes of shows like “Urban Gothic”, “Teachers”, and “Hustle”. It is based on the tale of Robin Hood. A lot of people knew about the story of Robin Hood. He’s an outlaw who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. It’s one of those memorable tales that teaches us that good always triumphs over evil and greed can lead to one’s downfall. That’s why it’s being retold numerous times via film, video games, and television. The version I’ll be looking at today is the one that has Taron Egerton trading in his suit and guns for a bow and arrow. The only two versions of Robin Hood that I remember the most were the 1973 Disney version and 1991’s “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” with Kevin Costner (aka my mother’s favorite Robin Hood), so it would be interesting to see how this adaptation compares to the others.
This latest tale of the titular character is an origin story that depicts how Robin (Egerton) came to be known as a legend. With the help of his mentor John (Foxx), Robin sets out to steal from the Sheriff of Nottingham (Mendelsohn) and lead a group of poor people to fight against injustice. The way this film portrays this type of story offers some pretty fresh ideas that could make it stand out from the other versions, but from a reviewer’s standpoint, that’s hardly the case. This is one of those times where a film has a unique way of retelling a source material, but in reality, it hardly did anything to express its uniqueness. To its credit, however, it did deliver a couple of entertaining moments, such as the cast and its action sequences. Taron Egerton was likable in his role as Robin Hood. He didn’t beat out the Disney Robin Hood as my favorite Robin Hood, but like the film, he had his moments. Jamie Foxx was also decent as the film’s take on “Little” John. All I can say about this character is that he’s not as merry as the Merry Men. As for Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff, let’s just say he did his part in making his character threatening, but he can get a bit too carried away at times. There’s also another character who’s played by F. Murray Abraham, but he’s just there to set up some potential sequels. Yeah, you read that right. This film is designed to become a possible franchise, similar to what Warner Brothers was trying to do with “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” before they realized that not everyone wants a flashy, slo-mo King Arthur film. The problem with this one is that the story lacks a strong bond that made the Robin Hood tale so inspiring. I can understand what they’re going for, but the execution towards that goal was just as poor as the people who got robbed out of their money. If you’re going into this film expecting something like character development and a great plot, I’m sad to say that you’ll wind up getting robbed as well. The narrative was not only bland and forgettable, but it also missed a huge opportunity to fully explore the relationship between Robin and John.
Overall, the 2018 version of “Robin Hood” has a lot of arrows that failed to hit the bullseye. It had some tolerable moments, but in terms of the story and the characters, it doesn’t live up to the other versions of Robin Hood that I’m familiar with. It’s quite a shame because I was hoping that it would wind up surprising me. Oh well, can’t win them all, I guess. If you’re familiar with the other adaptations of Robin Hood and are interested in seeing this, you’re better off watching it on television. Otherwise, go watch the Disney version.