A Guy Ritchie lovechild that has some awfully over-the-top ham-it-up performances and action that’s so dull there aren’t enough characters on Twitter to communicate it. All style, no substance, and yet another film that begs for a sequel in its final scene.
Robin Hood is an absolute mess. It’s hard to come up with a film that tries so hard to stylize each scene that ends up being so tedious. The result is anti-climactic, boring, and you would think with such ham-it-up acting it would be at the very least some mindless fun. It isn’t, and it’s saying something when you start to yearn for the good-old days of the Kevin Costner version.
Almost everyone knows the story of the Hood (now played by actor Taron Egerton), and Robin of Loxley now comes back home as a lost English soldier, a POW, who was ruled dead. He finds the love of his life Marian (Eve Hewson) did not wait for him, and now is in a serious relationship with Will “Scarlett” Tillman, a local leader/politician of sorts, fighting the unfair English crown. The Sheriff of Nottingham (the go-to-bad guy in films today, Ben Mendelsohn) continues to take from the people, even over the pleas of its citizens who have nothing left to give. The Hood teams up with Yahya (Jamie Foxx), an opposing soldier on the battlefield that owes Robin a debt, and now becomes his mentor, to steal from the rich then give back to the members of the community.
The problems with Robin Hood are numerous and pile up so quickly it is hard to pick just one. Forget the cosmetic issues where the cast sport modern haircuts and Hewson looks like she just walked out of a Maybelline ad, but that’s precisely the point. Director Otto Bathurst (BBC’s Peaky Blinders) is so worried about making his version of the Hood look good, he isn’t interested in making the film be good, using the stylized and in-your-face shots as smoke and mirrors to mask a script that leaves the film on auto-pilot. Unfortunately for the actors involved, they can’t hide behind any amount of tricky camera work.
Speaking of the actors, remember when Jamie Foxx used to do good movies? He won an Oscar for Ray, was nominated for Collateral, with inspired turns in Ali and Dreamgirls (for which he was robbed of Academy Award nomination for both), yet Hood marks another big-budget stinker he has starred in along the lines of White House Down, Stealth, Miami Vice, Anni, and Spider-Man 2. Foxx’s over-the-top performance is hyperbolic, where you can’t even make an excuse for him by saying he is revelling in the role. Egerton isn’t much better, and without starring in the Kingsman series, most of his films have tanked at the box office.
Add all of this up, and you have a film that comes across like an uninspired Guy Ritchie lovechild, with some awfully over-the-top ham-it-up performances that make for an overwhelmingly dull experience. All style, no substance, and yet another film at the end that begs for a sequel in its final scene.
M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.