Updated: Jan 20, 2019
Robin Hood is essentially a character who has become a staple of his genre, a classic tale of how a man “steals from the rich and gives to the poor.” The story has seen countless interpretations from animation to a 2018 high-staked, large-budgeted action film competing against Ralph Breaks the Internet and Creed II. And yet with such dense competition, this latest spin on Robin Hood, from Kingsman and Eddie the Eagle star Taron Egerton, is not done proper justice, devolving into a bland, sheepish mess that refuses to tidy itself. Beginning with a sour note as Marion, a thief played by Eve Hewson, comes to steal one of Hood’s most prized possessions, but gets caught in the act. As any person would expect, the two quickly fall in love but their romance comes to an end when Robin gets drafted for war, setting the stage for the “meat” of the film.
From the first few minutes of the movie, it can be confirmed that Marion exists for the sole purpose of pleasing the eyes of the viewers and fulfilling the landmarks of the genre since she doesn’t contribute much to the film’s narrative structure. Her inclusion quickly becomes distracting as it seems that the film doesn’t know what to do with itself. This abstracted truth is somewhat confusing as there is no real reason for this film to exist. Marketed as a unique adaptation on a tale that is in desperate need of a refreshing spin, Robin Hood fails on all accounts due to how shallow it is. It’s hard to see how any audience member will even be able to remember watching this travesty a few hours after seeing it.
But even as such, the film at times attempts to regain its footing, even if its attempts are miniscule in the greater scope. Out of previous renditions, Robin Hood is portrayed in a far more deadly and violent manner, with the character killing a surplus amount of guards in one particular instance, without even gaining a single coin. Examples like these litter the film, bringing into question the integrity of the screenplay. It constantly attempts to devolve itself in order to create a more acceptable production, but it causes any attempt to gain solid footing to feel lackluster and shameless. Serving as both a direct copy of its roots and a unique take on an iconic figure, Robin Hood feels both confused and out of place in its storytelling, constantly imploring the audience to have genuine engagement with a plot that never innovates in its design.