Impressive Cast, Not So Impressive Movie: Robin Hood 2018
By Sally Kim
The media was brimming with news when Leonardo DiCaprio announced his latest production of the iconic Robin Hood movie franchise, originally set to premiere on Nov. 21, 2018. There have been many movies based off of Robin Hood, capturing different angles of his story as the legendary English outlaw.
This 2018 production draws a story of Robin of Loxley, a war-hardened crusader, drafted into the military to fight in the Middle East. Upon his return, he finds his love, Lady Marian, engaged to someone else, his estate sold for auction, and the notorious Sheriff of Nottingham in control. The story, in general, runs no different from the iconic “stealing-from-the-rich, giving-to-the-poor” narrative.
Taron Egerton, who rose to stardom after the Kingsman film series, brings a new light to the iconic character. Egerton’s Robin Hood is young, charming, and clean-cut, contrasting with the generally middle-aged and rugged image of the character’s past. However, the way he sets about his vigilantism makes a striking resemblance to CW’s “Arrow”. He dons a hood and a mask to conceal his identity and dubs as “The Hood.” Egerton’s debonair personality suits the character director Otto Bathurst created for him, but it is more childish and comparable to Disney’s animated fox-version of Robin Hood.
Jamie Foxx plays Little John, an enemy Arab warrior who eventually befriends Robin and becomes his trainer and adviser. Foxx’s performance as John is memorable and strong, unlike Little John’s usual presence as little more than Robin Hood’s sidekick. Jamie Dornan, the famous
“50 Shades of Grey” actor, plays Will Scarlet, the prominent member of Robin Hood’s Merry Men. Similar to other characters in the movie, 2018 Will Scarlet carries no depth. The only character Bathurst does justice to is Eve Hewson’s Lady Marian, who is not subjected to a mere damsel in distress role like other adaptations.
Single-handedly, the worst character of the movie is Ben Mendelsohn’s Sheriff of Nottingham. Mendelsohn’s acting skills are satisfactory as always, but his character is portrayed as a cartoonish villain who is beyond witless in his many attempts to thwart Robin and win Marian’s love. His supposed “redemption” scene towards the end is nothing but silly and illogical.
It is evident that the director, Otto Bathurst, tried to pack famous scenes from famous movies all into this one production that fails to tell the story of Robin Hood. Even the costumes, intended to be from the 13th century, are closer to that of the 21st century “Arrow”. It is a miracle that Bathurst managed to degrade A-grade actors like Egerton, Mendelsohn, and Dornan, into a cheap action film. The only thing worth watching this film is Taron Egerton. Otherwise, decide for yourself if $10+ and 2 hours of your time is worth a 13% Rotten Tomatoes film.
Release date: November 21, 2018
Rating: 15% in Rotten Tomatoes, 32% Metacritic, 5.4/10 IMBD
Directors: Otto Bathurst
Cast: Robin Hood by Taron Egerton, Will Scarlet by Jamie Dornan, Little John by Jamie Foxx, Lady Marion by Eve Hewson, and The Sheriff of Nottingham by Ben Mendelsohn
Screenplay: Ben Chandler, David James Kelly
Budget: 100 million USD