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Film Review: Robin Hood

18 December 18 words: Ashley Carter

The reboot that no-one wanted is finally here! Robin Hood, it's time to do one... 

Director: Otto Bathurst

Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn

Running time: 116 mins

Imagine this: you’re the editor of the screen section of a Nottingham culture magazine, who also has an unhealthy relationship with historical epics. By unhealthy, I mean that I’ve watched Ben-Hur and Spartacus every month or two for about fifteen years, and I’ve even shit epics, like Troy and The Patriot, about a dozen times apiece. Now picture a historical epic being released about the most famous Nottingham legend of all time, surely I should have been chomping at the bit to see it? In truth, not only did my bit remain chompless, but I booked and cancelled cinema tickets four times before finally giving in and watching the bloody thing. The same question ran through my mind over and over as I suffered through the latest horseshit adaptation of the Robin Hood tale: if I can’t be arsed to see this, who can?

The answer, unsurprisingly, is apparently no one. Much in the same way King Arthur sank without a trace, the box office returns for Robin Hood’s latest cinematic outing have been disappointing to say the least, raking in approximately a quarter of its overall budget. The comparisons with Guy Ritchie’s Arthur don’t end with critical and commercial failure, either. The films are something of a carbon copy of one another, both deciding to do away with more traditional cinema tropes of well-written dialogue, compelling characters and engaging storylines in favour of endless scenes of ball-achingly dull and ultimately pointless action accompanied by an array of truly awful peformances.

Do you even need a synopsis of the film? It’s hard to imagine that anyone doesn’t know at least the basic outline of the Robin Hood legend, so well trodden has this particular path been (this being the 77th incarnation of the story in film and television, seriously!). What’s new about this one? Literally nothing. Well, nothing of interest, at least. The actors are different, the action is worse, but the song remains the same. And it’s a song that has been stuck on repeat for over a century now. 

I found myself fondly remembering the time where video games strived to be as good as films.  Now, sadly, it’s the other way around.

I’m not usually one to get sand in my ass about historical accuracy, but it’s almost as if the filmmakers have gone out of their way to fuck this one up. The opening scenes, set during the Crusades, play out like some cheap Call of Duty knock-off cutscene, but without the option to skip forward to something interesting. It was during one of the dozen or so occasions in which I zoned out completely that I found myself fondly remembering the time where video games strived to be as good as films. Now, sadly, it’s the other way around.

Robin Hood is everything that’s wrong with Hollywood, an industry that’s been in a state of creative decay for far too long.  It’s a lazy, pointless money-grab that has no cultural or entertainment merit whatsoever. Personally, I’ve had it with Robin Hood. I don’t want to see him and his Merry Men in space, battling robots in the future or whatever other goofy concept is going to come next. The NME recently reported that there are no fewer then seven Robin Hood reboots in the works, including a film about Maid Marion starring Margot Robbie. I’ve had it. If Yorkshire want Robin Hood, fuck it, let them have him.

Such was my hatred for this abomination, the only pleasure I received was seeing it in the knowledge that it had already tanked at the box office. The manner in which they arrogantly set it up for a sequel, or even a lengthy franchise, made me laugh out loud to myself, the sound of which echoed around the walls of the otherwise empty cinema. Nobody needed this film, nobody asked for this film and, thankfully, no one has gone to see it. See you all again in five years for whatever horseshit reboot they cook up next. 

Did you know? Released 110 years after the first Robin Hood film, Robin Hood and His Merry Men (1908)

Robin Hood is in cinemas now

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