Okay, right from the beginning I should clarify that I haven’t actually seen Robin Hood (and I probably won’t until it hits Redbox) but given what I know about this film, I HAVE to talk about it. I first heard about this film months ago when I heard that there was a really bad trailer circulating on the Internet. When I first saw it for myself, I was half convinced it had to be a joke; there’s no way they could have made a Robin Hood film THIS bad…right? Well, actually yes they did and the more previews I saw the worse it got.
The Middle Ages looked NOTHING like this
First let’s talk about the setting. As most people know, Robin Hood is traditionally set in or around the reign of King Richard the Lionheart (so between 1189 and 1200 CE give or take a few years), which places the story firmly in the Middle Ages. Knowing that, take a look at those previews again and tell me with a straight face that this film even loosely resembles that time period. Nottingham bears no resemblance to a medieval city, in fact in the previews it looks more like something from a post-apocalyptic future (or a generic fantasy film). I’m not saying a Robin Hood film has to be 100% period-authentic, but they’re not even trying with these locations OR the costumes. The machine-stitching is painfully obvious and nothing remotely resembles the era they should be in. I groaned aloud when I saw the footage from a party that Robin attended in his public persona as a nobleman. The costumes the ladies are wearing are totally inappropriate for the era (no woman would be caught dead in anything so revealing). I referenced the location looking post-apocalyptic before, I find myself wondering if they meant to make this a futuristic post-apocalypse retelling of the story and just forgot to tell the audience?
As cool as it looks, Molotov cocktails were NOT a thing in the Middle Ages
Second, we need to talk about those arrows. It goes without saying that arrows do NOT work like that! They’re not that powerful (not at that size anyway) and you can’t fire them THAT quickly (I don’t care if it is a Robin Hood movie, no one is THAT good). This was another thing that really bothered me about the film, and that’s the pacing, it’s much too fast. A Robin Hood story can be many things, but a fast-paced action thriller is not typically one of them.
Third, where is Prince John in all of this? One of the key components of the Robin Hood legend has always involved the outlaw fighting against the tyranny of Prince John until King Richard can return. The only reason Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves got away with excluding the character is because they had Alan Rickman playing the Sheriff of Nottingham. I’m not saying Ben Mendelsohn isn’t a good actor, it’s just I’ve seen him play this kind of role several times before and no offense but it’s starting to wear thin.
Lastly, I have to comment on something I heard from reviews of the film. I read that Robin is sent to the Crusades via a “draft notice” pinned to his front gate. Are you KIDDING me?? This is not how the Crusades worked! There was no draft for noblemen in the Middle Ages, either you went on Crusade or you didn’t! It’s like they did no research whatsoever for this film and didn’t think anyone would notice (spoiler alert: we’ve definitely noticed). All reports indicate that Robin Hood is going to be the biggest box office bomb of the year and I’m not surprised in the slightest. I knew this film would bomb the moment I saw the first teaser. Hopefully I’ll get my own turn to eviscerate the film once I can rent it from Redbox sooner rather than later (and as it’s bombing badly that shouldn’t be a long wait). For now, those are my thoughts on Robin Hood but I’m very curious to know what you think about it. Have you gone to see it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!
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