With King Kong, The Mummy, Spiderman, Beauty and the Beast and A Star is Born remade in the last two years alone, and Scarface, Pirates of the Caribbean and Lion King in the works, if ever a film studio is stuck for an idea they mine those of the past. One story that is never far away from a remake is Robin Hood and so a mere eight years since Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe’s version here we are.
Directed by Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders and Hustle) and starring Taron Egerton (Kingsman) as the titular character, Robin of Loxley wants for nothing – he is a wealthy lord who resides in a castle with the love of his life Maid Marian (Eve Hewson). Then he gets drafted into the army to fight in the Third Crusades but upon his return he discovers that he has been declared dead, his castle and possessions taken, Maid Marian has found someone else and the people of Nottingham are destitute and oppressed. So up steps Little John (Jamie Foxx) who persuades Robin to take action against the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) and the church to save the people.
It looks slick and starts off entertaining enough, the war scenes at the start are frenetic and action packed but it soon degenerates into cheesy predictability, with some surprisingly dodgy CGI and lots of slo-mo. You have the Little John led training montages, the raids and robberies, corrupt church officials and the fire and fury of the Sheriff of Nottingham, and bows and arrows, lots of bows and arrows
It has a Robin Hood who does not even bother to disguise himself half the time. It is a well known fact around town that Robin of Loxley has nothing but no one questions it when he is suddenly awash with money to donate. “Mmm, do you reckon this has anything to do with the oddly familiar looking Hood fellow that’s nicking all our money?”, “Naaah don’t be silly!”. Throw in some corny rabble rousing speeches, a few gooey eyed loved up moments, and a sequel enabling ending and there you have it.
Nothing much of note happens acting wise apart from Tim Minchin, a surprising inclusion as Friar Tuck, and Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham. He is hilariously over the top and very similar to the archetypal ’80s bad guy he played in Ready Player One.
This is a stale, predictable and eye-rollingly cheesy two hours, avoid.