This Thanksgiving break started today and I went to a Tuesday night opening. With the available choices of Ralph Breaks the Internet and Creed 2, you may ask, “How did you wind up at Robin Hood?” I was asking myself that question as well.
The real answer is scheduling. I planned out the five or so movies I need to see this break and it worked best to see the new version of Robin Hood on the Tuesday night.
And I did go into the film with as much of an open mind as I could. In fact, about ten minutes into the film, I am making cracks in my head, but I stopped and told myself… keep an open mind, Doc.
Unfortunately, that open mind did not make this a good movie. I really tried.
Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) caught the thief Marion (Eve Hewson) stealing his horses and they began a whirlwind love affair. Until Loxley was drafted into the Crusades and had to go to war. While at war, he tried to prevent crazy military leader Gisborne (Paul Anderson) from beheading the son of Jamie Foxx. He failed, and wound up being shot with an arrow. As we find out, Robin, or Rob as everyone called him for some inane reason, seemed to be immune to being shot with an arrow. Just pull it out.
Anyway, he was sent home and Jamie Foxx followed him somehow. He apparently knew everything about Loxley and knew of his relationship with Marion, who had believed that Rob was dead. She moved on with Will Scarlett (Jamie Dornan) making Rob sad.
By the way, there was a scene where Marion and Rob came face to face for the first time and I swear it was a scene right out of The Princess Bride. Rob asked her why she did not wait for him and Marion responded that he was dead. I immediately said to myself, “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for awhile.” Classic.
Back to the “story,” Jamie Foxx wants to train Rob and make him into Batman and send him against the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) to revenge his son’s death, despite the fact that the man who actually ordered his son’s beheading was also still out there.
So Rob got himself an Arrow from the CW costume and continued his training to become a comic book archer.
This thing was hilarious throughout the film, although it had not intended to be. Some of the dialogue was just horrendous. The acting was fine for what they were given, but the story was thin and ridiculous and the dialogue was worse yet.
And then there was Ben Mendelsohn. Poor Ben was just as bad as I have seen. He was so over-the-top with EVERY line that I wondered if he was being satirical (Hint-he wasn’t). His performance was laughable and I found him to be a total waste of a character and an actor who has skills. Just not sure what he was going for here.
The action was okay at times, but it really did not mean anything. Rob Hood was shot a second time (or was it third?) in the third act and it barely slowed him down. As soon as the arrow was pulled form his shoulder, he kept going as if nothing had happened at all.
Then, again in the third act, Egerton’s role as Batman Hood is confirmed as one of the characters suddenly becomes Two-Face. Literally, it was a near exact way that Harvey Dent became Two-Face in The Dark Knight.
Did I mention that Jamie Foxx’s character’s real name translates into “John?”
Jamie Dornan’s character waffled drastically between positions and was never truly a well crafted and realistic person. He was just written so poorly that Dornan had no chance even with a strong performance. He was totally inconsistent with his ideas and what happens to him makes ZERO sense.
But sense was not the main component of this movie. Instead it took the DNA of several more successful movies, including the Nolan Batman trilogy, Princess Bride, Tolkien stuff, and mixed them together hoping to find something that would make this iteration of Robin Hood a viable franchise. They had a solid cast, but that cast could not escape the wholesale garbage given them to act. Ben Mendelsohn chewed the scenery every moment he was on screen, only being topped by F. Murray Abraham, whose Cardinal character was so one-note that you could not believe that the writers couldn’t give him SOMETHING to work with.
Oh, and there were a couple of times where it sounded as Mendelsohn’s Sheriff was Donald Trump. The film took maybe one or two moments where it felt like they were gearing up to set him up as a symbol for the current US President. Then, the film completely abandoned the point. They also tried to get Loxley to infiltrate the inner circle of the Sheriff and the Cardinal, which worked like a charm. Problem was the film also immediately tossed this plot point aside as well. There was no pay off for any of that in the story.
The only good thing I can say about Robin Hood is that it is now out of the way and I can, hopefully, prepare to see the considerably better movies during the remainder of break.