A new adaptation for a modern audience, Robin Hood directed by Otto Bathurst, is action-heavy, romantic and even a little comedic at times.
Set in the medieval village of Nottingham in England, Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) is drafted into the Crusades, leaving his lover Marian (Eve Hewson) behind to fight in the war against the Moors.
During a standoff in an Arabian battle zone, a sympathetic Robin attempts to stop commanding officer Guy of Gisbourne (Paul Anderson) from killing a Moor soldier’s innocent son. The Moor soldier, who we later learn is named John (Jamie Foxx) decides to stow away on Robin’s military ship with a thrilling new mission – to convince Robin to help him lead an important revolution.
When Robin returns to Nottingham after the war, he finds his family estate has been seized and the love of his life, Marian has been brainwashed into believing Robin had died in the war, all thanks to the villainous and corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) and the church, who plan on seizing power from the crown.
After witnessing the destruction caused by the Sheriff and the church, Robin agrees to lead a revolution, by stealing from royal collectors, gaining the trust of the Sheriff and encouraging the villagers to revolt.
We must admit the film’s medieval setting didn’t make a lot of sense given that there’s a casino scene, perfectly modern hair and makeup, and interesting wardrobe choices including the Sheriff of Nottingham strutting around in a tailored suit. Thankfully, what holds up this movie is thrilling action scenes and fantastic acting. Taron Egerton plays Robin with charm, fun and cheekiness, Jamie Foxx delivers John’s lines with energy, conviction and fury, although he is surprisingly underused, and Tim Minchin’s role as Tuck, member of the church and loyal friend of Robin, undoubtedly captures the audience with his awkward and sheepish behaviour.
Overall, despite the let down of the setting, the acting was convincing and the story was entertaining and exciting. We give the film a 3/5 stars.
Header image via Robin Hood.