Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Jamie Dornan, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin
Plot Summary: It's the story of Robin Hood, but told in a very different, but also exactly the same way..
Runtime: 116 minutes
Review: I would like to preface this review by saying I love Robin Hood of old. I love the stories, the ballads, old movies, comics, whatever I can get a hold of I enjoy. He's a likeable character who does villainous things for good purposes and wants England to persevere. Super fun to me.
That being said, this movie wasn't very good. I see what it wanted to do, but it didn't hit the mark at all. Made by Appian Way Productions, a company that was established by Leonardo DiCaprio, this movie was in some high company being made by the same production company that brought us The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street and The Assassination of Richard Nixon, so perhaps it was destined for greatness... and was not great at all.
I'm going to start with Egerton, an up and coming movie star that was in the two Kingsmen movies and is slated to be Elton John in the coming soon Rocketman. He's a good enough actor, talented enough, handsome enough, and just very very bland in the movies he stars in. I don't feel that's a bad thing as it gives him the opportunity to fly under the radar and do some fantastic movies, but to play Robin Hood I would say you need someone who has a very commanding presence. He does not have one.
Jamie Foxx is another story though, he is also a talented actor, been around for a long time and finds a way to miraculously do AWFUL accents in this movie. He does English, Arabic and American all in the same dialogue. With the pool of young and strong actors out there it seemed a waste to get Jamie Foxx to be Little John. Also, throughout the movie, they don't call him Little John once. Even to the point of his real name being "Yahya ibn Umar", but doesn't waste anyone's time with calling him by his real name, call him "John". Really crappy to do that in my opinion.
Eve Hewson, a relative unknown to me before (and after) this movie, mostly fits the part of Maid Marian fine, except she isn't on her way to becoming a nun, she isn't a noble and is apparently a thief who tries to steal Robin of Loxley's horse and then they fall in love. The movie also did that thing that movies are doing nowadays where they make the female in the movie a strong, independent woman. I am 100% on board with that, but I also know that in the 1600's when Robin Hood takes place, if she showed the moxie and chutzpah she does in this movie, she'd be beaten and murdered. It's a time piece that has nothing to do with the time it's set in.
Remember that old Heath Ledger movie A Knight's Tale starring Heath Ledger and how it added rock music and that fun little dance scene? This movie sort of tries that, but with a party that is described as an "orgy of excess" with gambling, sex, drugs and alcohol and seemed so out of place in a movie that I thought I had gotten a different movie. (I didn't actually think that, but it was bad)
The action scenes were over the top and not very good, some pretty bad blue screen work for a 100 million dollar movie that didn't bring in 100 million dollars, so it's an actual loss for the company.
I'll finish off this review by speaking on Ben Mendelsohn, whom I genuinely enjoy. For me, he's the best actor in the movie, the cream of the crop. I also find him endearing in many other movies. His portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham was done very well, he was weaselly, mean, cruel, unnecessary and over the top. There was only one issue I had with him throughout the entirety of the movie and it just happens to be a big enough issue that it made him obsolete. He's not Alan Rickman. Alan Rickman at the Sheriff in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves marks him as one of the best villains in the history of cinema to me, having all the things Mendelsohn had, but so much more. I didn't find Mendelsohn particularly intimidating and, while i understand why others do, I just couldn't hate him as much as I wanted. I loathed Alan Rickman throughout his role, he made the movie worthwhile, he brought forth bile from my throat because of how vile he was. So to have someone attempt to be that role is just setting up for failure unfortunately.
I'd say skip this one unless you're at home and have nothing to do on a Sunday night in winter.