Robin Hood Or Hackneyed Dark Knight? [SPOILERS]
Updated: Dec 11, 2018
By Matthew Arrieta
Do yourself a favor: rather than watching Robin Hood, save your money and watch the Batman Trilogy, because this movie is a complete rip of The Dark Knight in the worst ways possible.
In the film Robin Hood (2018), starring Taron Egerton, who you may know from such films as Kingsmen (and that’s it), plays the dashing, charismatic, and all around good-guy, Robin Loxely. Robin starts off as a rich boy whose only aspiration in life is to make out with Marian (Eve Hewson) after catching her stealing one of his horses.
He’s then sent off to fight in the crusades, and when he returns he finds his mansion seized by the Sheriff (Ben Mendelsohn) and his Marian shacked up with Mr. Way-more-handsome, who calls himself “the voice of the people.” Sound familiar yet?
After thirty seconds of depression, once Robin finds out his girl and his money are all gone, he’s approached by John, an Islamic Knight played by Jamie Foxx, who has plans of dismantling the religious institutions that began the Holy Wars.
Robin decides to pose as the rich boy he was before he was sent off to the war and gets in close with the Sheriff and Cardinal, while stealing from them in the night as the Hood. Soon enough the Hood becomes a symbol of hope in a community wrongly governed by the clergy. And if that isn’t Batman enough for you then here comes the cherry on top...
In the midst of a fighting scene, Mr. Voice-of-the-people, also known as Will (Jamie Dornan) is distracted when he accidentally comes across Marian and the Hood swapping spit, mid-revolution. As he’s watching he gets knocked out, landing his beautiful head into a small fire, burning exactly one half of his face off. What a dent in the plot...
On top of losing his girl, he also loses his good looks, which, formulaically, would make any man in his position do a complete 180 from everything he previously stood for, making him the next bad guy after Robin kills the sheriff in a blaze of glory. This leaves the story with an open end that will hopefully never close if Hollywood knows what's best.
The fact that this movie was another bush-league appropriation of every other hero movie ever made was not the only strike against Robin Hood. Lazy writing plagued the script, with dialogue that sounded like something out of a children’s book. The costume design didn’t align with the suggested historical context, either. My brother even questioned whether the story was in a post-apocalyptic setting.
The director, Otto Bathurst, known for his work in Peaky Blinders and the first Black Mirror episode (where that guy fucks a pig), explains that the film has a Hunger Games vibe because he wanted it to take place in a “fantastical” world. Sounds like a quick fix cop-out to something that received a lot of criticism during the preview screenings since the article was released the same day of the film. Despite this explanation, the movie has continued to receive criticism for its modernization of it’s attire on Twitter and several movie blogs.
Robin Hood also fell victim to being another hallmark film where everyone had perfect hair and make up despite being paraded as the poorest of the poor, having just fought for their lives in several scenes. The only way this movie could have been successful is if they would have made it a comedy. It would have matched Egerton’s exaggerated acting style that makes everything he says seem like a joke that isn’t funny.
It wasn’t all bad, though. In fact it had a lot of potential, which makes it even more disappointing to see executed so poorly. The cinematography was great, the fighting choreography was decent, the set design was fantastic, and the cast was all-star... maybe all but Egerton. Unfortunately, it aimed for mediocrity in all other aspects and came out as even less, and because of this I give this movie ONE TENT.
Lionsgate and Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, were two of the major producers of this film. According to Box Office Mojo, the budget for this film approximated 100 Million, with an estimated gross income of 27 Million from the United States and 65 Million worldwide, making back about 65% of what they spent to make the movie. Maybe Leo should stick to making documentaries.
There are rumors of two additional Robin Hood renditions to be released in the next few years from Disney and Sony, with Sony’s film possibly be set in a post-Avengers universe. Hopefully one of these will do justice to the story of the hooded vigilante, because the 2018 Robin Hood certainly did not.
This piece is by Matthew Arrieta. Follow him on Twitter @Cyber_Drakula.