26 November 2018 | obiegimmie
"Robin Hood": A Joyless Spectacle of Action and Cliche
Quite possibly the greatest rendition of the classic "Robin Hood" story is the 1938 "Adventures of Robin Hood," starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The film begins with an initiative, and uses its protagonists to advance the plot methodically. Perhaps most importantly lies the film's self awareness; its delight in relishing a sense of refreshing fun and delight. The classic tale of Robin Hood has always been one best told briskly and with a sense of humor.
If only this film had followed the 1938 template. It starts out with an obvious purpose; to retell the Robin Hood legend in a modern form. This is reinforced through the bizzare steampunk costuming and one out of place scene in which Marion (played by the adequate, but not particularly noticeable Eve Hewson) wears a bedazzaled mermaid gown. Also, the film establishes the romance between Marion and Robin Hood as a key element, and presents her as, essentially, Robin's only motivation for almost the whole of the film. This is not inherently a bad decision, but the movie fails to present their relationship in a compelling or interesting way. There is no reason, no foundation, for us to feel invested in Robin's motivation, and thereby, his origin story.
The effects are borderline amateur. This film does right by incorporating a lot of detailed set pieces, that create a believable environment. On the occassion that green screen is used, however, it reminds you of a 2000's era Star Wars prequel. While the choreography regarding Taron Egerton's Robin Hood and Jamie Foxx's Little John is somewhat competent, the battle sequences are shot nonsensically with no direction or focus.
One thing this film struggles immensely with is character building. As mentioned above, there is no depth to the romance between Robin Hood and Marion. Little John and Robin Hood, despite all the scenes they have together, have no real conversation. I felt that Little John was the only character I even slightly felt for, because he was the only person with a semblance of a backstory.
It was incredibly stupid, convuluted, and cheap. I'm not saying there weren't compelling elements, but ultimately, those were bogged down by the film's idiocy.