Release date: 21.11.2018
Length: 1Hr 56
Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) a war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander (Jamie Foxx) mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance.
The cast is pretty decent if not close to perfect. With a nice change of pace, we see Taron Edgerton providing us with a younger, more political Robin of Loxley. A self aware ‘toff’, humbled and embittered by war with a moral code to motivate his civil crusade against the corrupt. It’s hard not to love the man who brought a charm to Eggsie, Eagle and Elton.
Ben Mendelsohn, if people don’t mind me being so bold, is fast filling the hole left by the late, great Alan Rickman. Successfully handling the bad guy mantel in films like Ready Player One and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he’s a shoe in for the Sheriff of Nottingham. While it’s safe to say, he didn’t have as much fun or ham up the role as born-to-be-badguy Rickman, he gives it his own flare and brilliant villainy.
In fact, one of the strengths of this production is that Nottingham is not the highest rank of the dastardly food chain. And when you’re historically known bad guy starts to tremble, something interesting is about to happen.
Honorary mentions must go to Fifty Shades actor Jamie Dornan who seems much more at home playing support than lead, and Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck, who steals every scene he’s in and makes me wonder why he’s not in more stuff.
I liked that this film doesn’t assume that Robin Hood’s story is something that can, and should be contained to one movie outing. It’s just a shame that I’d rather not see a second outing for these outlaws.
Its that old clique of having all the best people but still providing the audience with a steaming turd of a film. I wanted to love this film; I even gave it a second chance to win me over. However, both times I felt like I’d had my eyes superglued open and subjected to Peter Jackson’s Hobbit followed by the extended editions of Bored of the Rings.
It feels bloated, insincere and lacking any credibility. The script is dire, takes itself too seriously and gives the audience no rewards. The final act is given no gravitas, and the motivation of all the players are either too thin or so convoluted it makes my ears bleed. Case in point is Sheriff of Nottingham and his hatred of those who help him in his treason. His reveal of being sexually abused does not make his motivation clear or just.
When is this bad boy set?! The narrative suggests medieval and they certainly hammer home that this is firmly placed within the papal sanctioned Crusades that began in 1095.
However, from the moment Mendelsohn’s Nottingham donned his bleached grey leather coat that possibly belonged in his Ready Player One wardrobe, I was thrown off.
All the costumes scream future, rather than past. There’s an attempt of medieval stylings, but it’s too obvious that they came from the disposable-fashion racks of the local Primark.
Then there’s the crusade units themselves; the language is too modern, as are the machine gun weapons that both sides of the war use. The uniforms and filming style would look perfect in a Call of Duty game play trailer, but not in a period piece that was attempting to escape the curse of bad Robin Hood productions.
The film is set in a very Mount Doom-like post-apocalyptic Nottingham. It’s seaside town of mountainous proportions with a epic mine that the people can live in set beside Japan inspired architecture that does not blend with the medieval setting it’s pathetically attempting to convey.
Some of these things can be overlooked, but put it all together with the historical elements and you have a messy clash like oil on water. Which is fine, for some. However, for me I want a film that pulls me in and helps me escape from the concept of time and reality for a while; not something that pulls me out of the experience and gave me checking if my watch is ticking ever so painfully backwards.
Love Han x