Movie Review: Robin Hood (2018)

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Summary: A war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown.
Short review and mild spoilers I guess.
Pros: 
The Two Leads. Normally I would do “cast and characters” but honestly, the only interesting characters in this movie is Robin and John. Friar Tuck was also interesting, but I don’t think we get to know him enough to really care about him, other than the fact that he’s a cool dude and kind of a “ride or die”. Also, the actor is likable.
  • Taron Egerton as Robin Hood. So, Robin is the Lord of Loxley and he’s pretty much doing his own thing. He doesn’t seem to be a douchebag or anything like that, he’s just a young guy living in his manor. He meets a girl, falls in love and all that whatever. He gets drafted to fight in the Third Crusade against the Saracens. He ends up being in the war for about four years and he basically gets dishonorably discharged because he tried to save John’s son after a lot of their enemies were captured. Anyway, when he gets home, he finds that his land had been ransacked and Marian kicked out of his home. He finds out that she’s seeing someone else after they were told Robin was dead. He ends up working with John, who stowed away and John trains Robin to be a better archer to end the war by stealing the money that was taken from the people to fund the war. So, with all that said lol, Robin is a good man, he’s passionate about what he believes in, he can be a little mischievous and Taron is really good at that. He thinks quick on his feet… think of it like Robin is a Gryffindor lol. He’s brave, a bit brash and is prepared to rush head first into things which can also be labeled as “stupid”. Taron does a good job in this role. I always think he’s good. He’s active, he pulls off the look really well and I believed that he could lead a revolution. Keep ’em coming Taron, just pick good movies.
  • Jamie Foxx as John. I love how the wiki says that he’s Robin’s best friend and I’m like “Ummm… not in this movie they’re not best friends, at least not yet.” They become friends and trust each other, but I wouldn’t say best friends. Anyway, John or “Yahya”, which is actual name, but “John” is the translation in the common tongue”. He is an Arab soldier who fought against Robin’s… unit? and he almost killed Robin, but his hand cut off in the process. John’s unit was captured, and Gisborne threatens to kill his son. John really tries to keep him from doing so as does Robin, which prompts John to stow away on the ship sending Robin back and to confront him about helping him to end the war. John trains Robin to be a great archer and excellent marksman and he does an awesome job because Robin becomes awesome with his bow and arrow. John isn’t that much of a focal point in the film, he’s there to train Robin and to keep him focused on their goal. He’s a badass when he fights, even with his one hand, and he is loyal as he doesn’t give up Robin when he gets captured for a time. Also, very resourceful. I was curious to see how Jamie Foxx would do in this kind of role, I have never seen him play something like this and he was quite good. I really enjoyed him. I don’t know what accent was putting on if there was really one at all, but I could tell he had fun and it was fun watching him. He had great chemistry with Taron.
Pretty Good Action. I think the action was handled well in this film. I mean, it’s not grand or anything like that, but I think when Robin puts his hood on, it’s really cool to see some of the cool things he does. I mean, he’s no Green Arrow or Hawkeye with his special arrows but he’s fast and it really looks like Taron is doing it. I know he’s doing a good amount of his own stunts but I’m sure the intricate moves he’s probably not but it’s so cool! Archery is always my first weapon of choice, I am a long-range fighter first lol. There’s a scene towards the middle of the film, it’s like his second big mark, where he doesn’t manage to steal anything, but it was so good because he had so much opposition! It kicked ASS! I was impressed with how much fun the action was.
Character Chemistry. You would think this would be between Robin and Marian… BUT NOPE! The chemistry between Jamie Foxx and Taron Egerton as these two different men who become friends under a common goal and respect was handled well. As I said before, I was little curious about Jamie Foxx in this kind of period piece and I thought he did well, and he and Taron really worked off each other. I liked the friendship we saw build between them. I am interested in a sequel just to see what more they do together now that they’ve created their group of Merry Men.
The Costumes… mostly Robin’s coat. I think the costuming in this film is mostly good. There are a few pieces that stood out the most, Robin’s coat which was turned into his signature jacket and of course the Sheriff of Nottingham’s blue coat. Both were pretty dope. The other costumes are nice, they fit into their period and almost have this future-esque feeling to them which reminded me a lot of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Cons:
Is that you Mask of Zorro? Someone saw that classic movie with Antonio Banderas was inspired because this movie is pretty much that movie. Man is sent away by the villain for some reason (Not for the woman this time around), man returns with a vengeance, usually with the help of another person, some mentor, he learns to fight better and while he is being a vigilante he is also parading as a playboy who supports the Sheriff. I mean… there are plenty of stories like this, but this was so glaring to me that I was like “ummm…” and it also reminds me of The Three Musketeers with Logan Lerman, Luke Evans and Orlando Bloom towards the last act of the film. It really took me out of the film because I kept thinking of comparisons. I will help fix this in my second post about this film.
No Character Development. Honestly, there is hardly any character development from any of these characters. You have Robin and John who are the two main leads, but they are pretty much the same people they are at the end as they were in the beginning. The only thing that really changes is their circumstances. I guess, you can argue that they managed to get over their differences to work together, but they did that early. It’s not like they fought throughout the film while working together. You don’t really get to know anyone on their journey throughout the film. We pretty much know them as soon as we meet them. All the characters were flat. Not to mention, what a lame villain. Not compelling at all.
No Tension/Investment. I never felt there was a threat in this movie. Sure, you have the Sheriff, but he wasn’t really a threat because I didn’t believe he truly believed in his cause. It was a “just because” kind of thing. I think this was a disservice to Ben Mendelsohn because he’s a good actor, but his character was so underwritten that I was like meh. Also, there was this kind of “love triangle” thing between Robin, Marian and Will and I was like meh because I wasn’t really that invested in either side of the romance. We just didn’t get to see enough of Robin and Marian for me to be like “oh yeah they need to be together” other than the fact that they’re an iconic couple. If it was established prior to the film start, then sure, but since they met and fell in love in this film, I wasn’t invested. Not to mention, I wasn’t that invested in Will and Marian either. Was it love or just a rebound? Dunno. But anyways, it becomes a crux for Will’s “new beginning” at the end of the movie and I was like “whatever dude” lol. I also never felt like Robin was in any danger of actually being caught. I like when the hero is on the run from the villain and they get caught and stay caught, or it takes longer than five minutes for them to escape. I just wanted to be worried for the people at least once! I never was!
Lame Villains. Again, a disservice to all the villains that show up in this film. We get at least four of them. Of course, the Sheriff, who is iconic but since his name is just a title, he could be anyone, which is shown in this film. That’s fine but he was never really a threat. I mean shoot, the Sheriff in the Disney Robin Hood was more of a threat and he was a bit of a bumbling idiot. We later meet the Cardinal who is working with the Sheriff but why? I mean, dude why are you worried about this little town? You want more power? You want to be able to overthrow the King? Pfft okay. Is it King Richard? Good luck with that hahahaha. Then at the end, we meet a new Sheriff of Nottingham and while I would like to see a sequel with him as the Sheriff (I don’t think it’ll happen), I didn’t really find him a threat, but he could be a great one.
Overall, I enjoyed Robin Hood. I don’t think it was that great or anything. There was a lot of potential, but I don’t think the movie quite measured up to what it was trying to put out. Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx were good in their roles and their characters were mostly interesting. The costuming was nice, especially Robin and the Sheriff’s coats. I thought the action was handled well, it had nice choreography and Taron and Jamie had really nice chemistry which was needed for their characters. Now, on the other hand, I think the movie took too much from other films where it clearly reminds me of a better movie. The villains were lame, and I didn’t feel any danger or tension. I was never worried for what was going to happen. Ever. Lastly, there was barely any character development. You want to root for the characters and outside of just liking Taron Egerton and the fact that he’s Robin Hood, I don’t think I cared about him because we don’t know anything about him other than what we knew about him beforehand. Otherwise, it’s a fun movie. It’s not something I would necessarily recommend spending money for but check it out from your local library.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Robin Hood? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Who is your favorite archer character?
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