Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson
Director: Otto Bathurst
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes: Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) a war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander (Jamie Foxx) mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance.
When watching a movie like Robin Hood, there are many questions you have to ask yourself. Many of these questions revolve around the word, “why?” Why did this movie need to be made? Why am I watching it? Why are these talented actors giving such poor performances? Why is the CGI so noticeably bad? These are the questions I had after watching Robin Hood and while I understand that this movie is not exactly supposed to be a Best Picture contender, there had to be a better avenue than this one.
The film follows Robin of Loxley (Egerton), a wealthy lord who is sent to fight in the Crusades against his wishes. After years of fighting, Robin returns to his town to find that his estate was seized by the Sheriff of Nottingham (Mendelsohn) and that his wife Marian (Hewson), has remarried after she believed Robin to be dead. Seeking revenge on the Sheriff for sending him to a costly and pointless war, Robin assumes the identity of The Hood and is trained by John (Foxx), a foreign soldier who Robin showed mercy to during the war and that also wants revenge on the Sheriff. Together, the two of them go around town making the Sheriff’s life difficult from their criminal activity. Starting off with the acting, it is very apparent from the first scene that most of these actors are phoning it in for the paycheck. Foxx is a former Best Actor winner, but that level of talent is absent from this film. He is whimsically dramatic and over-the-top to the point where it seems like he is just fooling around and taking nothing seriously. Mendelsohn on the other hand should really just be titled as, “Generic Lead Bad Guy,” because his character brings absolutely nothing unique to this movie. Egerton is bland and boring, Hewson is nothing other than eye candy for the movie, and Jamie Dornan is devoid of any of the talent he showcased in A Private War and is very much back to his Fifty Shades ways. Outside of the acting, the special effects are absolutely pitiful. There is a scene where Robin and John are riding horses and you can clearly tell the scene was shot in a Hollywood backlot. These crummy scenes are spliced together with your typical sloppy action editing in a way that only a B-list movie can. I want to be able to see what is actually happening on the screen instead of just a flurry of colors and explosions going off in the background. We have seen the Robin Hood story done by several directors feature an array of actors and each version has tried to do something a little different to try to make their mark on this story. This film does none of that and shows us what not to do when you have a $100 million budget and what to make to make something either critically or commercially successful. Honestly, at many points I was begging for the film to be over and I think I am not alone with that feeling.
Overall, can we stop making movies with taglines similar to, “based on the untold true story,” for stories we have seen hundreds of times? The first Robin Hood film came out in 1912, so when I say we have had 100 years to get the story right, I am factually correct, yet here we are with another lackluster attempt. I will give the movie a little bit of a pass because it is supposed to be a popcorn movie, but there had to be something better than this in the writer’s room. Maybe the next attempt will be the one that finally nails it, but until then all we can do is reminisce about the older films that did it right and laugh as the modern ones fall on their face.
Overall Score: 2.5/10