25 September 2023

Robin Hood

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Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.

Director: Otto Bathurst, Lionsgate, M 116 Minutes.

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 not in medieval green but instead in modern clothes.

Bathurst’s story begins with Robin enjoying his lofty lifestyle including his romantic involvement with the lovely Marian (Eve Hewson –‘Bridge of Spies’) before being sent off to the Crusades.

This follows the confiscation of his Loxley estate by the intimidating Sheriff of Nottingham (Aussie actor Ben Mendelsohn) wearing the similar long leather grey coat seen in his Star Wars movie ‘Rogue One’.

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

Unable to save the son, Robin is shot with an arrow then sent home to England together with Yahya (renamed John) where he finds his Marian married to activist Will Scarlet (Jamie Dornan – ‘Fifty Shades’ franchise).

Friar Tuck (Tim Minchin -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 injustice, robbing from the rich to giving to the poor while pretending to ingratiate himself with the corruption-driven Sheriff.

With Robin the Hood running rampant it is not too long before there is an intervention from the Cardinal (F. Murray Abraham –‘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 besides the picturesque settings of Croatia and Hungary.

The most impressive performance is from Mendelsohn again but it is debatable if Egerton really fitted the role of Robin (having perfectly portrayed a secret agent in ‘Kingsman’) or for that matter, Fox playing a Moorish Little John.

Vic’s Verdict: 3 Stars

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