Friday, December 07, 2018

Robin Hood (2018)

Robin Hood and any associated character has long since passed into the public domain, so it’s easy enough to write a new story around them.  (This is the fourth version I’ve seen if you include Robin Hood: Men in Tights.)  Is it too much to ask, though, that someone come up with something a little better?

The basic story is the same.  Robin of Loxley goes off to fight in The Crusades.  He comes back to find that his lands have been seized by The Sheriff of Nottingham.  You see, Mr. Sheriff had Robin declared legally dead.  This means that the lands could be taken to beef up the war fund.  (I‘m not sure how that was supposed to work, as the lands have fallen into ruin.)  Also, Marian gave up on waiting for Robin and has taken up with Will Scarlet.

Robin is stopped by the father of a boy Robin tried to save overseas.  The father’s name proves too difficult to pronounce, so he agrees to go by the anglicized version of John.  The two agree to do what Robin of Loxley is known for:  Take from the rich and give the money to the poor.  Since Robin’s castle is abandoned, they can use it for training.

Do I regret seeing the movie?  Not really.  It was entertaining.  However, it was so anachronistic that I have to wonder what they were trying to do with this movie.  It looks like someone took the Robin Hood story, added a J. Crew catalog, added a pinch of Supercuts and put the whole thing on blend for 30 seconds.  Every time I saw one of the main characters, I couldn’t help but think how nice and neat they looked, as if they had just stepped out of the house.

There’s also nothing particularly new or great about the film.  It seems like it’s supposed to be a vehicle for something, but I’m not sure what.  There aren’t many lines that could be considered quotable.  There are some action scenes, but nothing spectacular.  In fact, it seems to just use familiar names to tell a familiar story.  It looks like no one was really trying.

The story has been redone so many times that you really have to up your game to stand out.  This version seems to have gone in the opposite direction, offering a stripped-down version.  I think that I’ll probably have forgotten about it by this time next year.

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