There were many reasons to believe this adaptation would be #winning. The trailer looks awesome and the production team includes Leonardo DiCaprio. I dig Leo and his risk taking artistic choices. Taron Egerton (Kingsman) as Robin is hot and Jamie Foxx (Ray) as always is cool. Even Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) gets to show off his really big ears (this is not a euphemism, they look huge in this film).
It Takes More than Costumes
Directed by Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror), this current retelling of Robin Hood features many of the principal actors wearing leather coats they appear to have obtained at New York’s Fall Fashion Week.
There is also a party scene in which the attendees may have been brought in from The Capital of Panem.
What’s in a name?
Someone thought it would be badass if Marian called Robin Hood “Rob” throughout the film. It’s not. And while we are on the topic of Lady Marian, I appreciate that in this incarnation she is no longer a “damsel in distress” but a leader in her community, a revolutionary and far from helpless. However, Eve Hewson’s (The Knick) portrayal of Marian is inconsistent as her accent seems to migrate from English to Irish to American and back again.
Nope. Failed again Hollywood! Adding three people of color in with the villagers of Nottingham does not qualify as diversity casting, even when they each have a few lines of dialogue.
So What’s Good?
There are some great action sequences but also some that look cheesy. This is a talented cast but they need better dialogue. There are moments that are meant to be powerful and inspiring that instead left me asking, “Who directed this mess?”
Use Your Whole Ass
It’s kind of a family joke. I tell my teenage children if they commit to something don’t do it half-assed, you need to use your whole ass. That’s some great parenting right there. Anyhow, as much as I enjoy intentionally anachronistic entertainment, some directors excel while others falter. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Hamilton is the best example. Is that bar too high? Even Brian Helgeland’s 2001 film A Knight’s Tale, which was pretty widely criticized, did it better than this wannabe fresh take on Robin Hood. If you want to update a franchise and increase it’s cool factor by using anachronistic elements, you can’t go half-assed.
But Wait, There’s More
Robin Hood ends with a set up for a sequel, which I will go out on a limb and say is never getting made. Even so, if you want more of the hood, you won’t have long to wait with six other Robin Hood related projects in the works. These include a Lady Marian focused movie staring Margo Robbie as well as films from Warner Brothers, Dream Works and Disney.