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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Movie Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

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Summary: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.
*There may be spoilers below if you haven’t seen any of the trailers or heard anything about this film.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Taron Egerton as Eggsy Unwin. Eggsy has come a long way from the young man we got to know in the first film. He is the current Galahad due to the tragedy of the first film, he’s acclimated to his new life as a Kingsman (as well as other things). He’s a gentlemen and he’s having to deal with other grownup choices and situations. It’s not like Eggsy wasn’t mature before he just had a lot more baggage then and now it’s like, he carries himself differently. It’s cool to see the change. But I thought he was a strong standout in the first film and I think he is again here, I actually think without him and without him knowing his character so well, it might not have been as good or fun. Taron Egerton is able to in this film to maintain Eggsy’s “gentlemen” side, his more “Eliza Doolittle” side and trying to live a new life. It’s all pretty interesting. I love him.
  • Julianne Moore as Poppy Adams. She is the leader of “The Golden Circle”, a secret organization and the head of a pharmaceutical company. She’s like a Susie Homemaker gone crazy in this film. Poppy has a plan to become a respected business woman in the eyes of the world, she’s been hiding out for so long that she misses being apart of the population. Julianne Moore is good, her delivery is very upbeat even when crazy things are happening and I thought Moore transcended her character because she was way better than what the material for her character was. I wish she had the chance to be more scary or more intimidating or something because I know she totally can be those things even with the type of character Poppy Adams is.
  • Pedro Pascal as Agent Whiskey. A Statesman secret agent. He is pretty cool, he is known for his lasso and electric lasso weapons as well as the cool gun twirling trick. He has a lot of great action scenes and he spends a lot of time working with Eggsy on this mission. He’s older so he kind of has a “wiser agent” mentality and that whole “I have more experience” etc. kind of thing but he trusts Eggsy which is also interesting. I’ve only seen Pedro Pascal in Game of Thrones so I wasn’t sure what to expect with him here but I liked him. I thought he was really cool and I couldn’t wait to see his stunts considering what I saw in the trailers.
  • Mark Strong as Merlin. He is tech support, also Eggsy’s trainer and sometimes he may be a field agent for Kingsman. Merlin is awesome. He always has something insightful to say, sometimes it’s funny and useful and other times it’s useful. He’s super smart and has taken on the role of “mentor” to Eggsy in Harry’s stead. Merlin is the one who goes with Eggsy to America to meet the Statesmen and he seems to create a bonding friendship with Ginger Ale over being the tech support. I was so sure that Mark Strong was going to be a bad guy in the first film as he’s usually always playing the bad guy in movies (or just in Matthew Vaughn’s movies) but I was quite relieved that Merlin wasn’t a bad guy. He remains loyal here and he and Taron Egerton have really good chemistry with each other. He actually works well with everyone. He has a great scene in the third act.
  • Halle Berry as Ginger Ale. She is the Statesman’s tech support and she wants to be a field agent. She is loyal to her team ,though she’s frustrated about not being able to make it onto the field, instead of just being behind the computer screen. She and Merlin manage to bond a bit over their tech support roles. I normally don’t care for Halle Berry but she was fine here, her character is likable and I think she manages to hold her own in this role.
  • Colin Firth as Harry Hart. He returns in this film after being shot in the head in the first film. He’s the former “Galahad” and Eggsy’s mentor. In this film, he starts off a bit different from the Harry we know. Colin Firth is always good though and he’s great in all that he does for this character in this film. He has a great action scene in the third act of the film.
Supporting Characters. Though everyone outside of Eggsy is technically a supporting character here, there are some who are in the movie that don’t have large roles. I also don’t want to talk about people without giving away any surprises in the film or what relevance they might have.
  • Jeff Bridges as Champagne “Champ”. He is the head of Statesman. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jeff Bridges with a shaved face before and it was so weird lol and he’s  cool. Very stereotypical cowboy though.
  • Channing Tatum as Tequila. He’s a Statesmen secret agent and I am not a fan of Tatum but he’s not in the movie enough for me to dislike his character. He’s fine. He has a cool action scene when we first meet him and a funny scene in the second act.
  • Surprise Celebrity. A prisoner of Poppy Adams, he’s like an extreme version of himself. But I quite enjoyed him. Especially his little action scene in the third act. He is actually the source for a lot of the humorous moments.
The Action. I definitely think the action in this movie is fast paced, it’s fun and there is a lot of it. There are some amazing action scenes. The very first scene jumps right into the action and every time there is a large action set piece, it’s very easy to get sucked right into it. The very first scene, has that awesome stunt in it with the car, as the fight is mostly in the car. Very cool. There is also a great scene when Eggsy and Merlin first get to America, where they have a quick encounter with Agent Tequila. It was fast but it was fun. The biggest action set is in Poppyland towards the end. There is a lot of action set pieces in this film, so if you’re expecting action like the first, you get it and a bit more. Eggsy has a one on one fight with one of Poppy’s main henchmen and it’s a good fight, a lot of it is like “DIANA” but it’s still fun. I like the choreography. Eggsy already had experience from his experience in his Army training so seeing him do that coupled with what he’s learned from being in the Kingsman, it’s so graceful most times. IT’S SO COOL!!! I will talk about this in the cons too though.
The Music. The music is done by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson and it’s fun. During a lot of the fight scenes after getting to America and teaming up with the Statesman the music is Country and its so funny hearing it coupled with the fight scenes. It’s so fun to enjoy the fight with the music, especially during Whiskey’s fight scene in the snow.
Cinematography. I have to say that outside of the returning characters and the actors doing well in their roles, this is probably the biggest praise. This film looks so beautiful. George Richmond is the cinematographer and the way he shoots the locations, especially when they have traveled to other places such as the Swiss Alps, so beautiful. The festival Eggsy and Whiskey attends looked beautiful. This film just looks very good.
Emotional. The movie is actually kind of emotional. It may not be like crying emotional but it has a lot of moments where you’re upset about what happened.
Cons:
The Story. I think one of the biggest problems with the movie is the story. Not that it doesn’t make sense but it’s all over the place. There’s so much going on in this movie. There’s the main plot with Poppy, there is Harry’s storyline, there is a storyline with Eggsy, almost each agent from Statesman have little subplots and the heart of the movie just gets lost in the shuffle. Subplots aren’t always bad but they’re crowding when you have a film like this. In the first one, you cared about Eggsy’s family because he cared for them and we got to see a lot of what was going on with his family and you wanted them to be safe considering their circumstances. Here, he has someone else to care about and while I was like “aww” when they were affected by the drugs, I was more invested in Eggsy’s reaction instead of what was actually happening to that person. They weren’t developed enough for me by themselves to care. It was more like “aww, Eggsy is gonna be sad”.
The Villain. A film sometimes is only as good as its antagonist but here… eh. She’s so away from everyone else that she doesn’t feel like much of a threat. Valentine was around, he was doing press and what not, using his platform in plain sight whereas she couldn’t do that and his threats were felt because he was there. But she’s just holed up in her little 1950’s Poppyland. The only people I felt she really posed a threat too is her subordinates and her celebrity hostage. The only time her threat is felt is when someone was exposed to her virus in some drug they took or smoked and someone else is worried about them. It just felt superficial and I feel like she could have been just as upfront and personal as Valentine was. I kind of wanted the hamburger thing to be a thing I feel like that would have been more menacing and it would have been a thing about fast food or meat or something lol.
The Action. A lot of this is for the action, there’s a lot going on in the action. While it’s fun and entertaining to watch there are times where it feels jumpy. In the first film it was over the top but it worked, for this one, they really went for it and it didn’t always work. The whole style of filming where the camera is spinning around the action (most evident in the Church scene from the first one) is used a lot here and while the action itself is fun and I’m like aye it’s still kind of annoying.
Slow Moments. While this film also has some good moments, there are a few times where it feels like it just halted. The first one is fast paced and even in the non action moments or the non spy moments, it was still interesting to watch and this one has a few moments where I’m like “okay, that’s cool”.
Sequelitis. This film suffers what a lot of sequels do, where they try to be bigger and better than the first one, they try to take what made the first one fresh and original and expand on that but go to far where it just feels overdone and cheap *looking at you Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2* and that’s what this film suffers from. It’s trying to hard to be better than the first one that it’s not. For example, there is already some crazy stuff that happens but there’s this one scene at the festival and I just wondered why they couldn’t just make the girl ingest the tracker. You’ll know what I’m talking about. It was so uncomfortable that Taron didn’t even want to do it lol. Sometimes it’s hard to pick up a sequel where the character has already adapted to their new lifestyle, or are in their new job venture. It’s always fun learning about it or watching the character become whatever it is, but once they’re there it has to remain interesting and sometimes it’s not. But anyways, this film could have kept what made the first one so original, surprising and fresh and just pumped more heart into it instead of pumping steroids.
Overall, I did like this film, it was fun to watch and I enjoyed it because I love Eggsy, Harry and Merlin. I liked the characters enough, I thought the actors did well in their roles. Taron Egerton was definitely a standout as he understands his character so well that he just holds the film together. He’s funny, he’s handsome, he can play all sides of his character well and I’m interested to see where he goes next. I think the action is fun to watch, it’s over the top but it’s still fun, plus coupled with the music choices it makes me feel energized watching it. The look of this film is absolutely gorgeous, all the locations look crisp like I was right there with the characters. I like the celebrity guest, they were fantastic and funny. However, this film does suffer from the “sequelitis” in which it tries to be better than the first one, by being bigger, better and more outrageous and it doesn’t succeed, it just feels like it’s trying too hard. The villain character wasn’t very interesting, menacing or fearsome even though Julianne Moore was really great at playing the character. The story is also very crowded. But I overall enjoyed the movie.
Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars.
Are you going to see Kingsman: The Golden Circle?
What is your favorite SPY movie?
Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to keep an eye out for future reviews and other writings on my blog.