#SheReviews Robin Hood

November 23, 2018

The story is a new old

This may be the seventh remake since 1922 but does it really matter when each one has a different twist to this legendary movie? Robin Hood movie makers are compelled to adjust to 21st century demands as audience expectations change.

A younger Robin Hood, played by Taron Egerton, a warrior who wears a hood rather than his traditional cladding of Lincoln green, has also changed.  In 2018 the lord of Locksley Hall does not have a band of merry men living in Sherwood forest. Rather a band of fully trained aggressive combative archers whose weapons represent an automatic machine gun. I was impressed with their rapid firing, sharp shooting bow and arrow craftsmanship and have no hesitation to say this movie is action-packed, albeit a style unlike any other version.  Parts of it reminded me of the TV series Arrow.

Director Otto Bathurst wanted to start anew, and remake the mould with all the furious pace of contemporary action filmmaking, and indeed he did. He even went further as Bathurst “wanted to see why and how our hero became this legend, what it is that burns inside of him and what inspires him to set out to fight with such commitment to the truth”.

“To me Robin Hood had the makings of an utterly contemporary and relevant story,” Bathurst explains. “Here’s a guy who seemingly has the perfect and comfortable life and goes off to war, full of ideals, beliefs and passion, but then his eyes are opened to the corruption and evil of the people who are running the world—and it breaks him. It dissolves his faith in his nation and his religion and leaves him disillusioned.

However, there remains a similarity about the old symbolic significance of this English folklore and the new historical outlaw hero. Robin is more than a major thorn in the dictatorial government regime as he robs the rich to give to the poor, but not in the manner Robin Hood followers are accustomed to.

Emphasis is on the relationships between Robin and a modernised sadistic villainous Sheriff of Nottingham, played by Ben Mendelsohn and an evil cardinal played by F Murray Abraham. Let’s say gold coins were in abundance, hidden for a while to the local villagers who were obviously frustrated by the corruption and abuse.  

A redeeming force for Robin’s plight was the powerful and demanding role of an Islamic Little John, played out by an outstanding and inspirational Jamie Foxx, and a clever, witty and much thinner Friar Tuck whose personality matched actor, comedian, Tim Minchin. Marian (Eve Hewson) was no maid in this movie. She found a new man in her life, Will Scarlet (Jamie Dornan), after believing Robin was dead. We soon discover things are not as they seem between the two. I found they lacked the chemistry we so wanted to see from the days of Fifty Shades of Grey.

The Robin Hood story is always about a determined young man who is prepared to put his head above all else for the sake of his local people and his ongoing fight for the truth. This latest version was not as expected. Yes, I had the old version still in my head. However, I appreciated its vibrancy, the skilful battles, picturesque vibrant scenery (I recognised the old city of Dubrovnik in Croatia and parts of Paris), the new age Nottingham village architecture, the modernistic diverse costumes and the exciting performances by dedicated actors who told their story.

If you are an RH fan, you should not miss out on this different perspective and allow yourself the opportunity to form your own opinion. It is not your traditional story but there is tradition and the movie was entertaining.

The Cast:

Actors: Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Sing!), Ben Mendelsohn (Star Wars: Rogue One, Bloodline), Eva Hewson (known for Bridge of Spies (2015), Paul Anderson (known for roles in The heart of the Sea, The Revenant and Brimstone) Tim Minchin (an Australian comedian, actor, writer, musician), F Murray Abraham (movies Hot To Train Your Dragon, Isle of Dogs, Oscar winner In 1980’s for Amadeus), Jamie Dornan (famously known for the Fifty Shades of Grey movies). Director: Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror).  Screenplay by: Ben Chandler and David James Kelly. Story by: Ben Chandler. Produced by: Jennifer Davisson, p.g.a., Leonardo DiCaprio, p.g.a. Master archers: Steve Ralphs and Lars Andersen to embody sharp-shooting archers on a level never seen in film.

Thank you to Think Tank Communications for the preview opportunity as I love action-packed movies.

In cinemas now!

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