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ROBIN HOOD (2018)
Robin Hood (2018) poster

CAST
TARON EGERTON
F. MURRAY ABRAHAM
PAUL ANDERSON
JAMIE DORNAN
JAMIE FOXX
EVE HEWSON
BEN MENDELSOHN
TIM MINCHIN
IAN PECK

STORY BY
BEN CHANDLER

SCREENPLAY BY
BEN CHANDLER
DAVID JAMES KELLY

PRODUCED BY
JENNIFER DAVISSON
LEONARDO DICAPRIO

DIRECTED BY
OTTO BATHURST

GENRE
ACTION
ADVENTURE
THRILLER

RATED
AUS:M
UK:12A
USA:PG-13

RUNNING TIME
116 MIN

 

 

 

Robin Hood (2018) image

A blundering reimagining of the legendary tale, Robin Hood is a stylistically confusing and abhorrently anti-Catholic film that infuses the worst of “woke” politics in its Guy Ritchie style storytelling, in turn becoming one of the worst films this year.

There have been countless Robin Hood movies made over the years. Just like the various legends that surround this mythological figure, these films are different in style and taste. Hell, even Frank Sinatra once played a version of the character in the 1946 Chicago set Robin and the 7 Hoods. That the Robin Hood character is in the public domain makes it that much easier for studios to constantly green light projects.

The latest example Robin Hood (once named “Hood”) firmly belongs in the bottom of the heap. Directed by long time TV journeyman Otto Bathurst, and scripted by Ben Chandler and David James Kelly, Robin Hood is a stylistically confusing mesh of Guy Ritchie inspired, lad bloke period dramatics (ala King Arthur) and steam punk aesthetic, that fails in its attempt to be “visually daring”. Worst yet is its attempt at combining modern day “woke” politics to the films central plot, with the filmmakers taking aim at all matter of institution, including a scathingly ignorant attack on the Church resulting in an incredibly immature and irksome work.

The plot follows Lord Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) as he returns from the Crusades only to find his home of Nottingham fall under the corrupt rule of its Sherriff (Ben Mendelsohn), who is secretly doing the bidding of the war instigating, money hungry Church. Seeking revenge and to right the wrongs befallen on his people, Robin teams with once enemy turned ally Yasha aka John (Jamie Foxx), to end the war by stealing the ever-expanding war purse.

From its lacklustre performances to its predictably loud yet unimaginative action scenes, Robin Hood fails to live up to even the most earnest of expectations placed upon it. Exactly what kind of period setting Bathurst was aiming for is anyone’s guess. Filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Bathurst and the films art directors opted to transform the city’s world-renowned architectural heritage of Renaissance era buildings into a God-only-knows-what monstrosity, that distracts rather than provides a visual identity to the film. The equally perplexing costume design featuring all matter of leather attire is equally jarring.   

The source in the rot of Robin Hood is found in its political commentary, an amalgamation of left-leaning diatribes and consistent Church bashing that is as pathetic as it is arrogant. While the Robin Hood story always talked about the corruption of institutions, this 2018 version builds up strawmen, dresses them in priestly garb, and places it in the crosshairs. Almost every cleric has participated in abuse, and in one scene a large crucifix is thrown off a rooftop. To add insult to injury, Bathurst lurches his film from Church bashing to downright anti-Catholicism, in its statement that the Church “invented Hell” in order to place fear in the hearts of its followers. The casting of known religion critic Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck is about as a low blow a move as they go.

Bathurst has achieved quite a feat in taking a known commodity with a built-in, east to follow storyline, a $100 million budget, and a well-known and liked cast, only to make an ugly, sneering, boring, and bigoted flop of a wannabe blockbuster. Thankfully many were wise enough in not letting this version of Robin Hood steal from their pockets, resulting in the flop this film deserved to be.

 

*1/2

 

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