I had a very open mind going into this newest adaptation of Robin Hood, despite the abysmal 14% it currently holds on Rotten Tomatoes. Even though I was largely open minded going in, a part of me knew that this wasn’t going to be incredible. And while Robin Hood is not great, it also isn’t completely atrocious. First, I’ll cover all the aspects I enjoyed and thought worked, then the mixed/so-so stuff, then the other stuff that’s getting it the really poor reviews.
So right off the bat, the first glaring positive is Taron Egerton as Robin Hood. I loved him as the star of the Kingsman films, he showcased so much talent and charisma, and here he has all of that plus a lot of heart. Egerton really is by far the best part of the whole thing, he’s just so lovable and easy to root for in the role. The other positive is Eve Hewson who plays Marion, she was a good fit for the role both in terms of looks and in her performance. I also liked Egerton and Hewson together, pretty good romantic chemistry.
Now for the mixed the first thing are the visuals. The visual effects are odd here, sometimes they were really good and then sometimes it just looked so obviously fake and green screened. There are certain shots, particularly when Robin and Marion are riding on the back of a carriage in an action sequence, where the effects are distractingly fake looking. But then on the opposite side of that coin there are some really beautiful scenery shots and some good looking action sequences, so the effects are very mixed.Jaime Fox falls in the mixed category too and was very OK in his role. He was pretty over the top, nothing felt natural. Fox’s performance doesn’t ruin the film, but it certainly doesn’t help it in any way.
The script is the final thing in the mixed category. The writing for this film is largely pretty middle of the road and just meh. There’s lots of dialogue that I would define as harmless, harmless as in it doesn’t grab you but it also isn’t horrible. But, there are some select lines where I guessed exactly what was coming next simply because of how stereotypical and cliché the conversation was.
Now for the negatives and I really hate that these are here because this could’ve been such a great film. So the very beginning of the film is a big negative. It starts off with a very rushed opening that sets up the film and sets up the main plot points but the issue is that it’s all so fast and we get from point A to point B so quickly it’s tough to feel anything about the events happening.
The other big negative is Jamie Dornan. He does give a better here than any of the Fifty Shades films, but that’s not saying very much. And it’s not just that I didn’t really buy Dornan’s acting but it’s also that I didn’t know why the hell we even needed his character. His character is just in the way for 90% of the film and I felt like saying “why are you even here” every time he came onscreen. The film ends up giving his character a purpose literally the last couple minutes of the film, and while the purpose they gave him is somewhat interesting, it still doesn’t forgive having to endure Dornan and his character’s uselessness for the VAST majority of the film.Also, the villians (Sheriff of Nottingham and The Cardinal) are so cartoonlike and cliché that they just become caricatures and thus uninteresting. There’s only one single moment where the Sheriff has an interesting monologue, but it’s very fleeting.
One more negative, and this one kind of shocked me to be honest the ending and how abruptly everything it happens. I thought there was going to be at least another 10 to 15 minutes at the end but it just kinda wraps up with a quick, largely anti climactic ending. I find this negative very frustrating because I was expecting a much more exciting finale… and what we get just feels so rushed. Also the very last scene tries to set up a potential sequel, which I don’t feel will ever happen, but hey if it does, I’d go see it and I sincerely hope that they would give me a better film.
So all in all, Robin Hood is a very so-so film. I don’t feel it deserves the level of hate it’s receiving, but it does deserve criticism for the multiple negatives that plague it. I don’t recommend going to the theater to see it, but maybe if you’re bored one afternoon and it’s on streaming or TV. It’s really such a shame that this film is so rushed and mediocre because Taron Egerton really is the perfect Hood.