Stealing From the Rich No Longer Makes the Audience Happy
By: Salvatore Cento
We all know about the story of Robin Hood, the green hooded gentleman. He takes from the rich and gives to the poor. He fights for those that cannot fight for themselves. It is a tale of honor and bravery.
But what happens, when that story, no matter how it’s told, starts to become boring and predictable by the many? It is only seen by the few. And liked by even less.
And you happen to be reading a review by one of them.
The latest iteration of Robin Hood was released to movie theatres nationwide on November 21st, 2018.
While it is true that everything plays out quite predictable, with no plot twists that stem off of the earliest material, all of the film’s aspects, once combined, make this into a movie that’s quite enjoyable once you take it for what it is.
It is not an original idea, it is only seeking to adapt the old version. The writers and producers are the only ones fooled when the introductory narration tells the audience that this capturing of Robin Hood is going to be different than what we already know.
While not much can be said for the rest of the cast, Taron Egerton as Robin of Loxley, Jamie Foxx as Yahya and Eve Hewson as Marian keep the viewer grounded by showing through the commitment to their parts, that this may be a recycled property, but to not throw it out just yet.
Other critics may say that Jamie Foxx phones this one in, but the character of Yahya is a revenge seeker, who knows nothing except revenge for his son. His retribution scene is very straightforward with no struggle involved, but deserving for the character portrayed.
Knowing Taron Egerton from his role in the Kingman movies, one expects a few more than necessary special effects to come with the action scenes. And they do.
Slow motion, three sixty camera turns, etc. And that’s ok. They work here as well. But for the most part, they’re too short.
Right when scenes start to throw the viewer around, Yahya saves Robin or Robin ends up hiding with his love interest, Marian, or a robbery scene just happens without consequence.
The visual look is admittedly mesmerizing. The city and mines of Nottingham, the war trenches of the Crusades and the party in the Cardinal’s honor all share a darker tone of color that is quietly but evenly offset by the wardrobes of all the characters.
Although the wardrobe might not historically fit the set time period, the two blended extremely well together.
The biggest problem in Robin Hood was the narrative model being used. The viewer goes from being in an inciting incident, then crossing over into a midpoint as any movie should. What comes next though, is what you think is going to be the conclusion.
All hope is lost. The battle might be over, but the weak band together and have a motivational moment.
And then they charge into the battlefield. But after that scene, we jump to another that really is the definitive conclusion.
While event after event is not necessarily a bad thing, the time given to each act made it feel as though they were trying to apply the three-act structure. This didn’t come to fruition in the end and the overall story did start to feel like it was being stretched out.
Many theaters showing this movie had numerous unfilled seats, indicating the poor reviews. Critics showered this movie with negative reviews, going as far as calling it “a box office bomb”.
Just adding more content to a tale as old as time is not going to cut it these days. People want visual candy. Flashing lights. Constant explosions. Breathtaking cliff hangers.
Even with everything going against the latest telling of Robin Hood, you don’t have to look for those high octane spectacles here. Just slow down, take a seat and enjoy the trip back through time.