Robin Hood is one of those timeless characters who's going to get movies made about him for as long as we're making movies. The story of robbing the rich to give to the poor works in any era and makes for instant drama, but how does the new Robin Hood, starring Kingsman's Taron Egerton in the title role, stack up against the rest? Our own Mike Reyes found the film enjoyable enough, giving it 3.5 stars out of five, though he felt the movie felt a little too much like Christopher Nolan's Batman movies, a not enough like an original Robin Hood concept. According to Reyes...
While this modern Robin Hood does feel very much a product of its time, with fun performances and kinetic action thrown into the mix, it feels as if it had to crib from another landmark franchise to do so.
There are a few other positive reviews of the film that tend to fall strongly into the "it's fun, don't think too hard" school of movie praise. Variety's Owen Gleiberman also points out the ways that this Robin Hood takes some cues from modern superhero movies like Batman, but also compares the film to another, very different, style of film, the over-the-top glitz, glamour, and surrealness of the director of Moulin Rouge.
Robin Hood is no classic, but if it sometimes seems like it's trying to be Baz Luhrmann's Robin Hood, more power to it.
There are other positive reviews, which is to say, as of this writing, there is a single other positive review currently posted on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The UK's Independent says mostly credit the film's never-ceasing tempo and a couple of standout performances.
After a clumsy beginning, the story quickly builds up momentum. It has a likeably self-deprecating performance from Taron Egerton as Robin and a wonderfully sneering and malevolent one from Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Once we get past these few positive notes, however, it's all downhill. The vast majority of the opinions are coming down squarely on the "it's just bad" side of the fence. The Wrap's Yolanda Machado felt the script was "uninspired," saying...
Reboots and remakes are meant to introduce a new audience to a classic tale with fresh ideas and storylines that make the story relevant to modern audiences. Robin Hood doesn't even try.
It seems like the new Robin Hood may give you everything you expect from a Robin Hood movie, bows and arrows, swordfights, the Sherriff of Nottingham, etc. but doesn't really give you much more than that. It tries to add a different spin to the material by giving the film a more modern feel, which is certainly something that we haven't seen from Robin Hood movies before, Keven Costner's lack of accent notwithstanding.
Of course, the last time a movie tried to do a modernized, but still period, version of a classic myth, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, it didn't work out very well for anybody involved. THR's Todd McCarthy reminds us all of that box office bomb, and lumps Robin Hood in with it. He's looking for an apology after sitting through Robin Hood.
In a just world, everyone involved in this mess would be required to perform some sort of public penance.
Of course, not every review that agrees the film is bad goes quite so far as to expect everybody to perform community service. Some have been able to find bright spots in an otherwise poor production. While Robin Hood as a movie may not work, some, like the Boston Globe's Meredith Goldstein, do think Taron Eggerton works as Robin Hood, saying...
Egerton makes for an ideal Robin, with his Lego-shaped jaw, and his ability to deliver lines with great sarcasm while looking good in stylish outerwear... The only problem is that there isn't much for Egerton's Robin to say. The zingers don't quite zing.
As of this writing, Robin Hood is sitting with an 18% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The general consensus is clearly that Robin Hood isn't very good, and with the film seeing significant competition over the Thanksgiving weekend from the likes of Creed II and Ralph Breaks The Internet, which have both reviewed much better, it seems like the movie may have a significantly uphill battle when it comes to the box office.