HOLLYWOOD—I cannot tell you how many times the classic tale of Robin Hood and the Prince of Thieves has been reinterpreted and reinvented on the big screen. There was of course, the iconic flick starring Kevin Costner from 1991 that was quite entertaining. Then we had the 2010 flick starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett which was an absolute bore.
Every time I attempted to watch that flick, I fell to sleep within 20 minutes of the movie. Fast-forward to 2018, and we have another version of the flick in “Robin Hood” this time starring Jamie Foxx and Taron Egerton. Dare I say I found this version to be thoroughly entertaining, even though it was a chaotic mess jumping all over the place? So what is it about this entry that sets it apart from so many others? I would hands down say it’s the chemistry between Foxx and Egerton.
As a viewer, these two collaborate effortlessly and it’s apparent they had a ton of fun while filming the flick. The laughs, the fight sequences, the banter, it just feels authentic. There is nothing forced here and while the movie’s plot is thinly veiled in my opinion and seems far-fetched, quite far-fetched to say the least, these two actors are the saving grace of the movie.
Foxx’s portrayal of John is unique. He’s rough around the edges; quite brass and tests our hero in ways that he never expected. If I have one grip with the script it’s the issue that our villain, Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham, is underwhelming. Mendelsohn just doesn’t instill that fear in a villain that audiences come to crave. F. Murray Abraham who has been known to deliver a villainous role at times is underutilized in the flick, and the viewer never gets the impression that our protagonist has an equal adversary to go battle with. Let me rephrase that, he does, but it’s not explored until it’s too late.
The movie delivers hints as to where the story could be headed next, but that tale should have been further explored here. The dynamic between Robin Hood and Will (Jaime Dornan) has the potential for a fiery battle, but it is barely touched on, and by the time it’s explored the film reaches its climax.
The action-adventure has talent, but a lot of that time is wasted by a lackluster script. Does it hurt the overall impact of the film? For some, yes, but if you’re looking for over-the-top action, fight sequences to leave you salivating and some visuals that are just spellbinding, “Robin Hood” checks off each of those boxes. Director Otto Bathurst puts his own touch on this classic by implementing a bit of originality to the classic that appeals to both the young and older generations familiar with the iconic character.
“Robin Hood” is not garnering any awards, but I have to give the flick kudos for entertaining me, no matter how unbelievable or head rolling some of the antics are, my attention never wavered from the screen. So that has to be telling, right?