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Robin Hood is nothing but another remake, as if we haven’t had enough of those in 2018 already. From start to finish, it is entirely evident why this film is critically bashed and a financial disaster. The film attempts to be ambitious but falls to the wayside thanks to poor choices made throughout. From direction to writing, there are only two solid positives I can point out about my experience with Robin Hood. What are they? Read on to find out...
Wolfgang Reitherman, Kevin Reynolds, Mel Brooks, Ridley Scott, and now Otto Bathurst have directed Robin Hood feature films. One of these doesn’t belong, and it’s clearly Bathurst. With almost zero experience making a film for the big screen, he is not only unqualified to take on this property, but certainly so for taking on a 100 million dollar project. What drives me absolutely crazy about this film is the lack of detail in Robin Hood’s appropriate era, as for much of the film, especially the action, feels far too modern. That’s where a large part of the troubles lie within Robin Hood, an action based retelling of the classic tale with excruciating-to-watch action scenes. The direction resembles that of an R rated film trimmed down to a PG13 as the ultra violence is goreless, making it not only laughable but questionable. Bathurst’s direction feels misguided and without any clear direction, with hardly any reasoning for this film to exist today when there are so many others to reflect back on.
Plot-wise, Robin Hood is simplistic enough; a man sent to war returns and discovers that his hometown’s citizens have been run out of town, including his love. So in retaliation, Robin puts on the hood, and with the help of Little John takes on the greedy to pay back the poor for all of their wrongs. Although only a simplistic outline of this 2018 remake, there are only brief sequences of Robin stealing to help the poor and past that, the story goes places it was never meant to be. Robin Hood is plagued with countless ill conceived story arcs and rushed character development that is made even worse with the over abundance of silly and useless dialogue. With many rewrites it may be possible that this action packed film penned by Ben Chandler and David James Kelly could be good, but that would have to be many, many rewrites from this final result.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
To my complete surprise, Taron Egerton is a fantastic Robin Hood, and if the script would have catered to him, this film would have been a great relaunch of the character. However as Egerton shines, every other cast member falls completely flat. Some go into a generic territory and others into the abyss of nonsensical acting. Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Henson, and numerous others fall into the same boat of bland, generic character tropes that are just as easy as you would imagine. Beyond Egerton, all emotions reflected on screen feel completely forced, and no connections can really be formed between characters. The only real rivalry is Robin (Egerton) seeking revenge for his misfortunes. From irritating to just overly dull, it’s easy to want to leave the film from the get-go as practically none of the characters work off one another, or to be honest, at all.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
This score is epic and moving, although it just does not work with this terrible film in any way. The score alone had me hooked and ready to be rocked by a film that never happened. Joseph Trapanese needs to be involved in more features, and higher quality ones at that. Now take that wonderful critique and erase it for any and all sound effects in the film. From the arrow hitting it’s mark, to riding across rooftop on horseback, the sound effects are incredibly poor and unrealistic, to an embarrassing degree.
The effects become tedious within the film’s first thirty minutes, so when the big action set piece takes over the last twenty minutes of the film, you’re wishing for an abrupt ending to stifle your suffering. Resembling that of a Michael Bay extravaganza of effects, the film builds upon the special effects in many ways - making the already boring plot more tedious to sit through. The costume design doesn’t make any sense with the era. Similarly to the set pieces, many of the costumes look far too modern. The film takes place within the city of Nottingham, but we never explore it at all as the main characters are mainly taken from one place to another with barely any voyages through the town. It’s certainly a missed opportunity by the director that could have expanded the plot. Maybe not in any massive ways, but it still may have improved how the plot developed.
Taron Egerton deserved better than this atrocious retelling of the classic tale. With Egerton and the score being the only two acceptable attributes of the feature, it’s safe to say that this film is one to avoid. Action heavy but poorly directed, this Michael Bay wannabe just can’t make the cut, and that’s saying something when it can’t even impress like a Bay film.