Robin Hood

If you needed money on an urgent basis, would you steal from the rich or the poor? The rich, right? It’s a no brainer. It’s Robin Hood’s calling card for good reason, because it works. And yet, when forced to make that decision in the latest big screen version of the legend of Robin Hood, the evil Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) chooses to rob the poor instead. I took it that was intended to show us that the Sheriff is truly evil. But what it really shows us is that he is an idiot.

This Sheriff of Nottingham is so dumb that he has no chance to best Robin Hood or any of his merry men. He is so dumb that he was written out of this wannabe franchise before it even crashed and burned at the box office. Still, Mendelsohn doesn’t let this miserable movie or its bad script constrain him. He gleefully chews enough scenery to let us know that even as this movie is bursting into flames around him, he relishes this chance to play an idiot. He absolutely nails it. Which doesn’t make Robin Hood any more enjoyable, but I have to give Mendelsohn an “A” for effort.

No one else in Robin Hood has even an eighth of Mendelsohn’s desire. Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Eve Hewson and Jamie Dornan must also know that they are part of a dismal film. Nothing about this project could ever have seemed promising. Cliches and plot holes abound. The story makes no sense. The voiceovers are unbearably banal. The whole endeavour was so flat that I had time to wonder what Michael Bay might have made of this, and I concluded he could only have made it better, because at least Bay would have joined Mendelsohn in having some fun with the wretched source material.

Aside from Mendelsohn, everyone else in this film is making an obvious effort to be forgettable. It mostly works. In a year from now, I probably won’t remember anything about Robin Hood. It’s destined to be a footnote at best, remembered only in passing the next time a Robin Hood movie is made (maybe with Robin being female, which is one in a long list of Jay’s good ideas). Until then, try the Disney cartoon if you need a Robin Hood fix, or fall back on the Kevin Costner one if you’re desperate. Because the 2018 Robin Hood is not worth any of your time, or even any of the time of your most idiotic nemesis.

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17 thoughts on “Robin Hood

    1. Sean Post author

      You know, I totally forgot that the great Alan Rickman was in the Kevin Costner version, and I should definitely start referring to it as Rickman’s movie. I agree that Rickman takes the evil sheriff prize over Mendelsohn. Mendelsohn just stands out more here because there is really nothing else remotely interesting about the 2018 Robin Hood.

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      1. selizabryangmailcom

        One thing that struck me about the Costner/Rickman movie was my shock at seeing Jack Wild in a small part. He was the Artful Dodger in Oliver (the musical) and later Jimmy in the HR Pufnstuff TV series, and as a child I used to have a crush on him. But in the ’90s Robin Hood movie, he had transformed into some kind of hideous troll. I was floored. Then he died about 13 years later, give or take, from oral cancer. 😦

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  1. J.

    Eh? I had no idea there was another Robin Hood. Actually, this reminds me that I still haven’t seen the Crowe one. But maybe I’ll just track down and watch the awesome Robin of Sherwood.

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  2. Christopher

    Some stories have been so completely done, and done so well, I think they need to be retired with a big “Do not remake” sticker. And really if I need a Robin Hood fix I’ll go to Mel Brooks.
    It’s not his best or his funniest movie and is mostly weak, but does have some great moments.

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    1. Sean Post author

      You’re right, Robin Hood is probably one that should be put to rest for a while. I’m not even sure there has been a great version, but there have been far too many disappointing ones. And falling back on a Mel Brooks movie is always a good choice – even his weaker ones still have their moments.

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  3. Widdershins

    Or how about the Audrey Hepburn/Sean Connery one? … I liked Taron in the first Kingsman, hated the second one, have middling hopes for Rocketman, and never even bothered to see this idiocy. If he can find the right vehicles, young Taron might just go the distance, but he has a ways to go yet.

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  4. curious•pondering

    I have probably said it countless times, but I am tired of remakes…sighs. Glad for your warning, though.

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  5. Jason

    It was definitely a pretty blah endeavor. I love the cast, but I hated all their characters. The movie was too derivate to action movies and the lore of Robin Hood was pretty “meh”. Plus….too much setup for another movie. Definitely felt like King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

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