MY OPINION ON ROBIN HOOD MOVIE (2018).
Robin Hood is a 2018 American action-adventure film directed by Otto Bathurst and written by Ben Chandler and David James Kelly, from a story by Chandler. It is based on the tale of Robin Hood, and follows his training by John to steal from the Sheriff of Nottingham. The film stars Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin, and Jamie Dornan. The film was announced in February 2015, with Egerton signing on as the lead role that September. Hewson, Foxx and Mendleson all joined the cast over the following year, and principal photography began in February 2017, lasting through May. Robin Hood was released by Lionsgate on November 21, 2018.
Lord Robin of Loxley lives in Nottingham and enjoys a good life with his lover Marian, before he is drafted by the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham to fight in the Third Crusade against the Saracens. After four years away from England, Robin becomes disillusioned with the Crusades when he fails to prevent his commander, Guy of Gisbourne, from executing prisoners, including a teenage boy, despite the pleading of the boy’s father, which prompts Gisbourne to send Robin back home. When he returns to Nottingham, Robin learns from his old friend Friar Tuck that the Sheriff had him officially declared dead two years prior in order to seize Robin’s land and wealth to continue funding the war effort at the behest of the corrupt Cardinal, exiling the citizens from the city and into the coal mine town across the river. Investigating “the Slags”, Robin witnesses the commoners planning to rise against the government that oppresses and exploits them and learns that Marian is now involved with their aspiring leader, Will Tillman. Robin is prevented from making contact with her by the Arab whose son he tried to save. The man introduces himself as Yahya – which he says can be translated to “John” – and proposes that he and Robin work to end the war by stealing the money taken from the people to fund the church’s conflict. Marian seeks Robin upon learning that he is alive, but he chooses not to tell her of his plans for her own protection. Through a gruelling training regimen in his now-decrepit manor, Robin greatly improves his skills in archery and combat and begins stealing the riches that the Sheriff has extorted from the townspeople, earning the nickname “The Hood”, while concealing his activities by masquerading as a frivolous playboy who supports the Sheriff’s regime. During a party in the Cardinal’s honour attended by Robin, Marian and Will, Marian and Robin discover the war is a ploy of the church, which is also funding the Saracen army, to defeat the king and claim total power after his death. Gisbourne and his men raid the Slags at the Sheriff’s behest in order to find the Hood. Marian attempts to intervene despite Will’s objections and crosses paths with the Hood, whom she discovers is Robin. John is captured by Gisbourne and tortured by the Sheriff but refuses to reveal the Hood’s identity. Robin reveals himself to the commoners at Marian’s urging and is embraced as their leader, upsetting Will. Will leads a riot to distract the Sheriff’s men while Robin intercepts a caravan transporting the Sheriff’s fortune out of Nottingham, due to be delivered to the Saracen army. Robin then leads the townspeople in a battle against the Sheriff and his forces. During the confrontation, Robin shares a kiss with Marian, which is witnessed by Will, moments before he is horribly scarred by an explosion. Disillusioned by Marian’s betrayal, he abandons her and the revolution. When the tide of the battle begins turning in the Sheriff’s favour, Robin surrenders to avoid further bloodshed and is taken to the Sheriff’s castle to be executed; one of the guards is actually John, having escaped his cell, and he finally claims revenge on the Sheriff by hanging him by the chain on an oil burner. Robin and John flee to reunite with Marian and the townspeople who assisted them in Sherwood Forest, taking refuge there as outlaws. Meanwhile, the Cardinal approaches a vengeful Will and offers him the chance to claim the power vacuum in Nottingham if he is loyal to the church. Will is appointed the new sheriff and brands Robin and his followers criminals, with Robin defiantly challenging Will to come after him.
The new “Robin Hood” brushes up against the heart of the story: the dashing flippancy of a valorous outlaw, and the duel of wits that unfurls between Robin and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Taron Egerton plays Robin with a twinkle, and he’s especially good when Robin of Loxley, posing as the sheriff’s ally, plays mind games with him. He’s like a debonair corporate climber who knows how to exploit his boss’s weakness, and the sheriff gives him plenty to work with. Ben Mendelsohn’s performance is nothing short of sensational. His look is daringly out of period — the long leather coats of a downtown fop, a neatly parted haircut out of the 1980s — and he speaks with a slight lisp of anger, turning the sheriff into an arrestingly logical fascist, with a backstory of childhood pain that morphs all too convincingly into adult sadism. Mendelsohn is all icy control until he starts fulminating, at which point you can’t take your eyes off him. The director, Otto Bathurst, who has worked in series television (this is his first feature), knows how to deliver the lavishly staged action goods, but he also does face-offs on a human scale. Characters we know pop up here and there, like Tuck (Tim Minchin), who is still taking confessionals in church and is all sheepish, long-haired millennial self-doubt. So do actors like F. Murray Abraham, who has a delectable time as the cardinal who’s in cahoots with the sheriff; Abraham’s scowling satire of religious hypocrisy is just pointed enough to give off a glimmer of timeliness. As for Jamie Foxx, he’s a ball of magnetic energy as John, the proud Arabian who loses his hand (and son) in the Crusades, then stows away on Robin’s military ship and forms a mutually beneficial bond with him. Foxx brings his scenes a raw fury that ignites the movie. And then, of course, there’s Marian. Eve Hewson, who is Bono’s daughter, has a romantic presence expressed through a timeless gaze — she holds the screen with the kind of electrifying radiance you’re either born with or you’re not. She roots this youth rabble-rouser in something recognizably heartfelt, making a stirring case for the people to join Robin’s cause, yet beyond that Hewson simply has it. At the end, the film nods toward a sequel (set, presumably, in Sherwood Forest) with a pretty damn good twist of villainy, and the presence of an actress like Hewson is one reason you actually want to see it.