Friday, December 14, 2018

Movie Review: "Robin Hood" (2018)

Director: Otto Bathurst
Year: 2018
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Nobleman Robin of Loxley is taken under the wing of an elite Muslim soldier and is trained so he can combat the Sheriff of Nottingham's burdensome taxes that are said to be funding the Crusades.

Robin Hood 2018 movie still Taron Egerton Jamie Foxx
"Pull the tail. See who bites." (Image Source)
Oh, look! It's another Robin Hood movie! You know what was wrong with the other 20+ versions of this story? They weren't quite GQ enough. "Robin Hood (2018)" is directed by Otto Bathurst, who has mainly been a television director up until now, directing episodes for popular shows like "Peaky Blinders" and "Black Mirror." It is written by Ben Chandler and David James Kelly and is the feature debut for both writers (and hopefully, we won't have to see much more from them in the future). This oft-told story begins with Lord Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) catching a thief trying to steal one of his horses. That thief is Marian (Eve Hewson), who was lifting his steed to give to a poor farmer. Robin, or Rob as he is so cLevErLy called here, falls in love with her and the two begin a relationship. Rob is then drafted by the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn), who seems to have a lot of power for a local magistrate. While Robin is off fighting in the war, he is declared dead, and his property is taken for taxes. In the time after Rob's death, Marian begins seeing Will Scarlet (Jamie Dornan) and becomes a human rights advocate. Despite claims to the contrary, Robin is actually alive. When he comes back from the Crusades, he teams up with an elite Muslim soldier named 'John' (Jamie Foxx), who trains him to steal back the overbearing tax money the Sheriff and the church have been imposing on the people of Nottingham, all to impress Marian and to win her back.
Robin Hood 2018 movie still Ben Mendelsohn
"What, are we giving votes to ghosts now?" (Image Source)
Director Otto Bathurst's vision of "Robin Hood" boasts a hyper-stylized version of the Middle Ages where everyone wears Haute Couture straight out of a Tom Ford fall catalog. His visual style is reminiscent of Paul W.S. Anderson's "Three Musketeers," a style that begs to be taken seriously but comes off as a less successful version peak '90s John Woo. Bathurst uses an excessive amount of quick cuts and slow motion to create a frenetic action pace and then slows things drastically down to make it all look ~*s0o0o0o cool.~* Many of these scenes are shot as if they were part of a modern war picture as Crusaders wear what are meant to mimic modern flak jackets, though they lack their protective qualities. They carry their bows as if they were M-16s and use modern military tactics like peeking around corners with their bows if they would be much use in a close combat situation. We believe all these choices fail to have the intended effect and just wind up being distracting and stupid. In fact, some of Bathurst's choices are unintentionally hilarious and made us laugh out loud uncontrollably. The narrative is terrible and makes little sense. It is beyond ridiculous to reduce Robin's, oh, sorry, we mean ~*Rob's~* motivation for doing good down to trying to impress a woman. Also, we must question the purpose of the Sheriff's ridiculous plan as well. It is just so eye-rolling and terrible. As much as we love Taron Egerton and Ben Mendehlson, who have been immensely talented elsewhere, they can't do much to save this flagrant mess of a movie. That being said, it does provide a decent amount of laughs, which we're sure was unintentional. The biggest laugh of all comes at the end when the people responsible for this atrocity thought that leaving it on a cliffhanger was a good idea. There's no way in bloody hell this will get a sequel, and it's a joke to think that anyone could ever imagine it'd get one.
Robin Hood 2018 movie still Taron Egerton
"Do you want to get angry, or do you want to get even?" (Image Source)
"Robin Hood" is not bad just because it's a story every person on earth has heard a dozen times. It's not just because Robin is called Rob in the cringiest way possible and instead of being called Robin Hood, he's called "The Hood" because it's so. much. more. hep. It's not just because they talk about using "street weapons" as if they were modern-day guns and someone actually uses a fully automatic bazooka crossbow. It's not because the visual effects are frequently borderline atrocious for a $100 million film. It's not just because there are several allusions to rape. It's not just because Jamie Foxx's accent changes from scene to scene. It's not just because Otto Bathurst's version is so desperately clinging to life trying to be pertinent and cool and modern, it's all of these things plus the fact that people like us were dumb enough to give "Robin Hood" our money even when we know better. It's people like us who will give filmmakers the idea that it's okay to make a different Robin Hood movie in another few years. Shame on us. We debated not seeing this film at all, and now, we wish we had listened to the voice of reason in our heads. Steer clear.

My Rating: 2.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: ~5.4/10
RT Rating: ~16%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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