Imagine a 2018 Robin Hood done right: a real wealth-redistributing, anti-fascist hero fighting against a rich tyrant who uses political power to only get richer. That Robin Hood could have been a real hoot, some biting commentary for these times. This latest retelling, which arrives only eight years after Ridley Scott’s Russell Crowe-starring version, remains a haphazard action thriller taking place sometime during the Crusades, with Taron Egerton basically reprising his breakout Kingsman role. “This is no bedtime story,” the narrator insists early on, in an attempt to incite excitement, but the story immediately becomes a snooze.
There is little to enjoy in making Robin Hood more a buff mascot than a real working class hero. At one point, the camera lingers on a shirtless Robin as he nurses a leg wound (for some reason his pants are on but his shirt is not, and I’m no medical expert but that seems rather unnecessary). But the film doesn’t even commit to a “sexy Robin Hood” — which, if that’s what you’re going for, then by all means, go for it — despite the flirty tête-à-tête with Marian (Eve Hewson) in the opening scene.
Little John gets an interesting update in the form of Jamie Foxx, playing him as a Moorish commander set on overthrowing the English leadership. John taps his once Crusader foe, trains him in archery, helping create the masked avenger known as “The Hood.” The double life gives this Robin Hood a superhero arc, which could’ve been noteworthy if not for the video game-like rendering of fight scenes with slow-mo sequences and POV shots. There’s quite a lot of fighting, but it’s too chaotic to be effective.
Otto BathurstTaron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan, Eve Hewson, Paul AndersonBen Chandler, David James KellyLeonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson KilloranLionsgate