There have been dozens and dozens of films about Robin Hood since the beginning of the 20th Century. Most of them are known to not be good. So when a new iteration was announced, the reasonable assumption was that it would be pretty bad. And it is. But in a fun way.
It would be easy to just dismiss this movie right off the bat. The plot is all over the place and some of the action is boring and repetitive. But there are some interesting and relevant themes explored – even though they’re only really explored, and not commented on – there is some entertaining action, and the main actors are actually invested in the movie they’re making.
Let’s start with the action. It’s super inconsistent. Some sequences are very well done – it’s easy to see what is going on and to keep track of the chases. There is a good use of slow motion and it looks really cool. It is obvious to see that some actual work went into these sequences. But at the same time, there are some action sequences that are very dark and cut way too much. It doesn’t give you an idea of the area, so these sequences are just confusing to watch. Finally, it is difficult to be invested in these scenes at some points. For example, the opening action scene depicts Robin and the English Crusaders trying to do… something. It just leaves the audience confused and not invested.
Secondly, the movie tries to bring up important and relevant topics, but it doesn’t explore them enough to actually let them land. The two most prominent examples here are how it deals with religion and politicians. It depicts those in power as corrupt, so the common people need to stand up however they can. This comes across as a commentary on activism. It is this Robin Hood iteration’s way of fitting in the “stealing from the rich and giving to the poor” theme. The movie doesn’t want you to start an uprising against the government, but it does want you to keep it in check in whatever way you can. As for religion, the film depicts those with high religious standing as people who are just after money and power. But unfortunately, it is too focused on showing good action sequences instead of exploring those important themes.
Finally, Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx look like they really believed in this script, the way they were acting. If they didn’t believe in it, it would have been fairly obvious, since they wouldn’t be invested in what’s going on. But they were invested and it shows. Egerton is fun and charming and should continue to lead action movies like this, and Jamie Foxx was good with what he was given.
Robin Hood is nowhere near great. But it’s not a total dumpster fire. This is a perfect popcorn movie that will probably win some Razzies. And that’s why it’s so enjoyable.