Another retelling of the classic English folk tale Robin Hood was released this year. Like the many iterations of this story to come before it, the film places its focus on Robin of Loxley and his personal crusade on the Sherriff of Nottingham after his home was seized and the areas around it suffered severely from the Sherriff’s abuse of power. Robin then suddenly takes a turn into the territory of Batman wherein he essentially becomes a medieval vigilante and adopts the usual ‘steal from the rich and give to the poor’ tradition. The character of Robin Hood, as a swashbuckling thief, does come off as a very interesting and righteous character that could inspire many kids. However, it must be noted that the film has frequent violence, and, while there is no extreme violence and blood spurting from wounds, parents ought to be wary of it. The film does have a PG-13 rating.
The plot of the film seems to fall victim to the current Hollywood trend of “let’s-make-everything- dark-and-edgy-so-that-teenagers-will-like-it”. As a teenager, your unnecessary griminess is uncalled for and quite frankly dilutes the overall personality of a film. The film is lazy and quite frankly wastes the talents of Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx and makes poor use of their natural charisma and magnetism. Many of the film’s plot points are presented as simply being of ‘coincidence’ but ultimately come off as lazy and not particularly well thought out.
It’s also important to understand that while this film is quite gritty and modern, it does not take itself so seriously that it comes off as self-indulgent. The romantic sub-plot between Mariam and Robin also feels somewhat shoehorned in, with Mariam’s character quickly devolving into a stereotypical ‘damsel in distress’ archetype. Ben Mendelsohn who plays the Sherriff is also unfortunately typecast to another one of the ‘directorial villains’ like his role in ‘Rogue One’.
The movie has heavily stylized visuals that do not exactly grab the viewers’ attention and seem to be quite drab. In fact, the film is soaked in a theme of ‘Dark-Knight’-esque visuals. While the actions sequences can be quite thrilling and enjoyable, the film seems to be using them as a distraction from the actual plot and characters; “yes, the archery is cool, but when is he gonna be interesting again”.
To summarize, 2018’s reimagining of the iconic tale of Robin Hood is a dull, muted presentation at that. One which I cannot recommend to any kids or parents unless you really get a kick out of seeing archery in films.