Robin Hood (2018 Movie) - Reviewed By Dj Mack

Directed by Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders) and written by Ben Chandler and David James Kelly, Robin Hood brings the Nottingham thief to life...again. Taron Egerton (Kingsman) leads alongside Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained), Ben Mendelson (Rogue One), Eve Hewson (The Knick), Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) and Tim Minchin (Californication). "A war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown". Does Otto Bathurst's retelling of this legendary tale bring anything new to the table?

Beginning with a patronising and childish narration from Tim Minchin, the tone is set for the rest of the film. Robin Hood is flat, dull and unintentionally funny - a shockingly poor effort from everybody involved. There have been countless Robin Hood adaptations and why this one was necessary remains unanswered. Otto Bathurst's directing takes clear inspiration from Guy Ritchie - this should raise red flags for anybody who has seen King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. One of the year's weakest releases, Robin Hood commits many unpardonable offences. 

Taron Egerton as Robin Hood is excellent casting. Taron Egerton as Robin Hood paired with Bathurst's directing and a dire script from Chandler and Kelly misses the mark completely. Egerton delivers his weakest performance yet, raising questions surrounding his leading man potential. In Egerton's defence, he was working with a lousy creative team but still has to take some responsibility. His performance is forced and unconvincing, likely because he was fully aware this role was about to become a career low-point. Egerton fails to balance the nuances of being a wealthy lord but also a street-rat vigilante. His depiction of Robin Hood may also be one of the most unlikable as the character exploits his heroic acts in order to impress Marian (Hewson); Otto Bathurst's take on the character turns him into a selfish romantic whose noble robberies are insincere. There's also a desperate, and unsuccessful, attempt to 'Deadpool-ify' the character with witty one-liners during action sequences. Robin Hood's characterisation, from dialogue to portrayal to costume design, is a misfire. 

Egerton doesn't even give the film's worst performance. That accolade goes to Jamie Foxx who delivers a high-octane and excessive performance as John. Foxx shouts all of his lines as if he is giving a motivational speech. His acting is embarrassingly bad and Razzie worthy. Foxx can't even blame the script because he decided (or Bathurst did) to convey such eccentricity. During Robin's first training session, the camera zooms into Foxx's face as he roars "Again!" and it is one of the film's funniest moments. Robin and John have an unconventional friendship and the source of John's superior archery skills is unknown. It is implied that everybody from John's home country is strong and fierce - isn't exoticism a little regressive? Ben Mendelson reprises his roles as Sorrento and Orson Krennic because he keeps getting cast in the exact same role! His performance in Robin Hood feels stale and recycled. Jamie Dornan is given little to do but his casting becomes unsurprising after a twist in the final act. Finally, Eve Hewson plays the film's token female character. Robin Hood certainly isn't going to turn Hewson into a breakout star (thanks to a forgettable performance and the film itself). Marian is another unlikable character - she ditches her boyfriend when he is sent to war, eagerly runs back to him when he returns and somehow doesn't recognise his eyes when he is wearing a hooded jumper. Hopefully, Margot Robbie's depiction of the character will add some depth. 

Robin Hood's script is just as terrible as the acting. Ben Chandler and David James Kelly are debut screenwriters and this may also be their last screenplay. With absurd lines such as "orgy of success" and childish ones like "come back never!", the writing duo's lack of experience is apparent. After a fast-paced first act, Robin Hood quickly becomes dull and tiresome when it becomes clear that this adaptation has nothing new to add. The third act is a mess: Robin saves the commoners living in the mines, plans to get revenge, fights an old enemy, gets captured by the Sheriff (Mendelson) and tries to find Will (Dornan) - it is neverending! If Chandler and Kelly do return with a second screenplay, hopefully, it will contain three-dimensional characters, an exciting and coherent story and sophisticated but clever dialogue - Robin Hood's screenplay has none of those things. Tacked on at the end is an overly optimistic setup for a sequel. Who was arrogant enough to think that Robin Hood was going to be successful enough to warrant a sequel? 

Guy Ritchie brought a polarizing artistic edge to King Arthur, one that Otto Bathurst tries to imitate here. From the overuse of slow-motion in action sequences to choppy editing, Bathurst makes the same errors as Ritchie. He probably chose this style to inject some energy into the film but it ultimately makes it even more incohesive. $100 million was spent on Robin hood and, other than some awful green screen and its B-list stars, where Bathurst used that money is a mystery. Despite the third act's chaotic plot, Bathurst's cutaways to Robin's time at war were effective - they made the character's otherwise irrational change of heart more understandable. I wish Lionsgate had meddled with Bathurst's vision and steered him away from a Guy Ritchie replica. 

Robin Hood tarnishes my opinion of everybody involved. Taron Egerton's performance in Rocketman is going to have to be very special. Jamie Foxx is an early front-runner for worst supporting actor at this year's Razzies. Ben Chandler and David James Kelly's writing career will likely be shortlived and I hope I don't have to endure another film from Otto Bathurst. With awful acting, erratic editing and careless cinematography, Robin Hood is a shameful ode to the people's thief...the filmmakers even had the audacity to set up a sequel.