Movie Review – Robin Hood (2018)

He stole from the middle-class (i.e. me and my ticket price) and robbed me of 2 hours.

Or did he?

BQB here with a review of “Robin Hood.”

Yeah, I know.  That line above was catty and it is more or less what other critics are saying.  Truth is, I had a hard time with this one because there are parts of it that are quite awesome and overall, it is an enjoyable popcorn flick that had the potential to be truly great had it just been tweaked in some areas.

Taron Egerton, Hollywood’s favorite Brit these days, plays Lord Robin of Loxley, forced to leave an idyllic life of schtupping Maid Marion in his fabulously swanky castle to go off to war and fight the crusades in Arabia.

An early scene shows Robin and co. dressed in garb that straddles the line between ancient and modern and an inner city battle is a bit reminiscent of what American soldiers might have seen when they fought enemies in the Middle East in recent years.  I assume this is intentional as a commentary on modern war but then again, there are a number of touches, dialogue, and unfortunate clothing choices that make the viewer wonder if the film’s historical expert was out to lunch for most of the production.

In other words, this is not just Robin Hood.  It’s Woke Robin Hood.  When John (his real name is unpronounceable by the average English speaker for comedic effect), played by Jamie Foxx, an Arab who explains to Robin that this war and all wars since the beginning of time are scams designed to make the rich richer off the backs of the poor (I suppose we could debate this back and forth forever), Robin returns to England and dawns the hood.

From thereon, he becomes a superhero style fighter.  By day, he remains Robin, using his wealth and influence to gain the Sheriff of Nottingham’s trust and by night, using that trust against the evil, war tax collecting politician by stealing his ill gotten gains and distributing them to the impoverished masses.  He’s like a Batman of long ago.

To its credit, it does have a powerful anti-war message and viewers might be struck with the irony that politicians have been pulling on the citizenry’s emotional strings to support wars since the beginning of time and it is a cycle we may never be free of.  Unfortunately, the way it is done is a tad heavy handed, a bit too modern for a historical piece, and at one point where there is a casino night where the wealthy wear elaborate, Hunger Games rich people style garbs as they play roulette, those sticklers for historical accuracy will cringe.  If you can keep saying, “It’s just a fantasy” then you’ll be ok.

STATUS: Truly, there are many cool scenes, awesome fights, stylish goings on and so forth.  Egerton, Foxx and cast do their jobs well.  It’s worth the price of admission but like I said, it’s a good film that you’ll watch and then never care to see again and that’s too bad because a few plot changes and some more attention to historical details would have made it a great film with long lasting appeal.  Alas, in time (like my books) it is destined to hang out in the Sherwood Forest of the 99 cent bin forever.

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