Despite the numerous string of re-makes, there are a rare few I don’t grow weary of. Yet. Among them are Jane Austen adaptations, and anything that sounds Robin Hood-esque. 2018 brought a re-make of the timeless legend, only this time things look quite a bit different.
Robin Hood (2018) Film Review
Rob, Lord of Locksley (Taron Egerton) is happy. He’s got land, and a manor, along with the love of a good woman. Life is perfect. Marian (Eve Hewson) and Rob are young and in love, or so our narrator tells us. But as often happens, Rob’s life shatters when the Sheriff of Nottingham calls him up to fight in the crusade. With a tearful goodbye, he parts from Marian with her promise she’ll wait. Four years later, Rob is still fighting.
When he’s sent home for trying to help a defenseless prisoner, he finds his beloved Locksley much altered, and his Marian in the arms of someone else. Two years ago, his name was read among the dead, which led to Marian and everyone he once knew to move on. Under the tyrannical leadership of the Sheriff (Ben Mendelsohn), Rob distracts himself with the issues at hand. Teaming up with an unlikely ally, Rob and John (Jamie Foxx) begin their quest for good.
If there’s one thing Hollywood loves more than being PC or a good trope, it’s to respin legends that have been told time and again. With Robin Hood, it’s been on the big screen in the last ten years (last time with Russell Crowe), but this doesn’t stop filmmakers from hoping they can make the tale better. The latest on point trend of is to remold a classic literature legend with modern sensibilities.
This version is all about modernism. So much so, that it almost detracts from the enjoyment of the film. Not unlike the more recent King Arthur remake, this one cannot seem to help itself when it comes to piling on the contemporary designs, costumes, and even the script. Something like A Knight’s Tale does the blending of the two worlds far better. This is mainly due and owing to the fact that there was a script that knew it couldn’t (and it didn’t) take itself too seriously.
Contrary to what you’ve read so far, I will admit, this film is supremely entertaining. It just wasn’t all I anticipated. What will impress is the weaponry, and with exception to the climactic chase scene (the equivalent of a modern spy movie’s car chase), which suffers poor special effects, the effects are cool. I love the slow vs. fast speed of film, and the frequent sparks of fire that backlight the action sequences or moments. Basically, they’re pretty awesome.
The cast is also brilliant. I vacillate between liking and not loving Taron in the titular role. In the end, he wins me over. The romantic chemistry between he and Eve isn’t as dynamic as I’ve seen this beloved couple be, but it’s still sweet in an understated way. Foxx is fierce and plays the iconic role of Little John differently, but well nonetheless. Jamie Dornan also co-stars as Will.
Although I knew the film was going to take a more modern approach, I didn’t anticipate it would be this much of one. Nonetheless, I do admire this adaptation. What I like so well about it is that it tells a familiar story in a new way. I kind of like the idea of this character being a “spy” rather than the outlaw we know him as; unlike most Robin Hood stories this one doesn’t really begin the tale we know until the end. The bulk of the script is about Robin’s life as a noble, which I think is a far more unique perspective for a film that’s already been produced countless times.
If you’re not a fan of period dramas that overuse modern imagery, you won’t be likely to enjoy this version. If, however, you enjoy more modern interpretations, this 2018 production will be fun. It’s imperfect, but more importantly, it’s a darn good time.If you enjoy modern spins on classic tales, don't miss the 2018 adaptation of a familiar favorite. #RobinHood - A Bold New Twist on the Old Legend Click To Tweet
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)You can rent or own Robin Hood digitally on Amazon Video or on BluRay!
Photos: Summit Entertainment / Lionsgate