Words Joelle Reid
Let’s set the scene. Opening the anticipated Robin Hood (2018) film, is the only leading female character, Marian (Eve Hewson), slinking into frame. She is fully covered in a head dress and long gown- except of course a slit down down her front to show off her… generous cleavage. Expectations for this film were definitely leaning towards cheesy action film tropes, but this film exceeded that and went beyond. From Marion’s busty moment, I found the remake on a charming folklore story to be scattered throughout with disappointments.
Before you completely bat an eye at the film, I’m going to give credit where it’s due. For someone who has never followed the Robin Hood story very far beyond the classic “steals from the rich, gives to the poor” line, I left well informed. The movie tells his origin story well, from his pretty-boy position as a Lord, to his battle as a soldier in the crusades, and then his motivation as a veteran to do right to the less fortunate. A redeeming quality which also caught my eye was the cinematography. The use of aerial shots to show moving medieval streets was gorgeous, and the film had many scenes in churches which used tasteful symmetry.
But these beautiful scenes and strong plotline fizzled quickly into your standard war movie with bow and arrows instead of guns. By the end of the film, the audience became subjected to long fight scenes rather than an interesting storyline. Yes, there were some fight scenes that must be given a nod for their impressiveness and sheer large scale of soldiers in battle. But I actually found myself confused by the constant quick-cut panic scenes and they became tiresome.
As for Robin himself, Taron Egerton played a very cheesy, serious version of the hero. I had high hopes for this movie solely because of his fantastic leading role in Kingsman (2016). Instead, I was presented with the classic hero’s speech at war, cheesy lines after Robin made especially good shots, and injuries that shouldve caused death to him just making him kiss his beloved Marian. To compliment Robin’s character, Jamie Foxx plays an equally serious and cheesy man from the middle east to keep that flat character theme running.
To sum up Robin Hood, if you’re a big fan of fighting scenes I’d suggest you give it a go. But I suggest you avoid it if you’re not a fan of over-used pyrotechnics, and an over-cheesed script. The film was disappointing from director Otto Bathurst’s part who should have paid closer attention to the film. I think it goes without saying that if you retell a story that has already had many adaptations- you should make it the best one yet!!!