26 September 2023

Robin Hood

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Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.

Director: Otto Bathurst, Lionsgate, M 116 Minutes.

With the closure of cinemas throughout the country, PS News will be providing a weekly TV movie review – the first of these is Robin Hood, which will be shown on Channel 7flix on Friday 3 April at 8.30PM (AEST).

Countless movie versions have made of the daring legendary archer and bandit known as Robin Hood but none as distinctly different as that envisaged in director Otto Bathurst’s first feature film with his modern take of the timeless tale.

Unlike the classic ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ starring Australian legend, Errol Flynn this rendition features Taron Egerton from the ‘Kingsman’ franchise as Robin of Loxley, dressed in modern attire rather than in medieval green.

Bathurst’s story begins with Robin enjoying his lofty lifestyle – including his romantic involvement with the lovely Marian (Eve Hewson of ‘Bridge of Spies’) – before being sent off to the Crusades following the confiscation of his Loxley estate by the intimidating Sheriff of Nottingham (Aussie actor Ben Mendelsohn).

Some four years later during a modern day battle skirmish, Robin attempts to stop the Guy of Gisborne (Paul Anderson of ‘Brimstone’) executing the son of Moorish soldier Yahya (Jamie Fox of ‘Baby Driver’) only to see Gisborne cutting off the Moor’s hand.

Robin is shot with an arrow and sent home to England together with Yahya (renamed John) where he finds Marian married to activist, Will Scarlet (Jamie Dornan of ‘Fifty Shades’ franchise).

Friar Tuck (Tim Minchin of TV’s ‘Californication’) is certainly surprised to see Robin’s return – believing that he died in the Crusades – before telling him of the stringent taxes being imposed by the self-serving Sheriff.

With John’s help, Robin takes on the masked role of “The Hood” by instigating a revolt against all the injustice while pretending to ingratiate himself with the corrupt-driven Sheriff.

It is not too long before there is an intervention from the calculating Cardinal (F. Murray Abraham of ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’) and a final showdown between Robin and the Sheriff.

There is no doubt Bathurst has made a different yet entertaining version of the Robin Hood story with plenty of action and many enjoyable fight scenes amidst the picturesque settings of Croatia and Hungary.

The most impressive performance is from Mendelsohn while Egerton entertainingly fits the role of Robin (after his portrayal of a secret agent in ‘Kingsman’) as well as Fox playing a Moorish Little John.

Vic’s Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

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