Robin Hood Review – High Energy, A Fresh Take On a Retold Story

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Robin Hood, from Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate, brings the classic story to the screen with a new, and previously untold twist that reveals the unknown backstory that made Robin of Loxley a legend.

Directed by Otto Bathurst, Robin Hood stars Taron Edgerton, Jamie Foxx, F. Murray Abraham, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan, Tim Minchin, Paul Anderson, Ian Peck, Cornelius Booth, Kane Headley-Cummings, Scot Greenan, Lara Rossi, Kevin Griffiths, Catriona Temple, Bjorn Bengtsson, Nick Wittman, Yasen Atour, and Josh Herdman and written by Ben Chandler and David James Kelly.

Robin Hood begins oddly enough at the beginning of what many a man describes as the moment life intertwines with destiny and love, a deeply passionate emotion, controlling, guiding, causes the hidden to be seen.

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On this day what was seen was a very beautiful girl, Marian, played by Eve Hewson, as she quietly made her way to Loxley Manor to steal a horse when she was caught by someone she mistook as a hired hand when in fact he was Robin of Loxley, Lord of the Manor, played by Taron Egerton.

The two, as folklore and the film go, fell madly, passionately, in love. One day, a draft notices arrives and Robin is off to fight the Moors. The war is as war is, heartache, bravery or fear drives men to act outside themselves, and Robin with Marian sear on his mind fought to finish the evil of war.

The battle is treacherous, the Moors an advanced people, with weaponry unseen by the English. The arrows fly with speed unseen. Robin, a skilled warrior agile with the bow managed to subdue the enemy and lead to the capture of the battalion.

War divides and for some the final kill is sweet victory, the spoils of hard fought battle, for others unnecessary. Robin, of course, fell into the latter category and when the killing began the Moor who they had captured, played by Jamie Foxx, begged for the civilized English to spare his son. War has no civility.

The battle ends with the Moors freed and finally Robin returns to his manor only to find it in deep disrepair, his Marian, gone, married to another, Will Scarlet, played by Jamie Dornan, and a stranger, a stowaway, the Moor, following him.

Needing to find those whom he loved, Robin visit the confessional where we meet Friar Tuck, played by Tim Minchin, who explains that technically, he was declared dead and his Manor seized for war taxes. We also find out the Sheriff of Nottingham, played by Ben Mendelsohn, is corrupt and working with the Arch Deacon, played by Ian Peck, to steal everything they have, lands, money, gold, anything that can be used as currency.

This is essentially when the film shift with the strategic plan in place to rob from the rich and give back to the people. This time Robin as we see, is more than skilled in battle, he is a man of the people, he desires to free them from the tyranny of the corrupt Sheriff and even more corrupt Cardinal of the Anglican Church, played by F. Murray Abraham.   

I enjoyed this version of Robin Hood. Obviously, as it is a retold story, it was interesting to see how the screenwriters would massage life from this well told tale to revitalize it and make it fresh.

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Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx as well as the entire cast really have great on screen chemistry, and the energy translates well. The acting is solid throughout and believable. There wasn’t any drag in the story, it was in high gear throughout and carried well by the cast.

When the story is billed as a new twist, with one minor costume glitch, the historical time was obvious and clear. Personally, the Sheriff of Nottingham was very well dressed and I felt it reflected more of a contemporary look, in fact, it could easily have been right on the menswear runway shows now, which is outside the time frame the story is told.  

Robin Hood is a solid bet in a box office filled with many choices. Clearly, the film is a suspension of reality and still the story is well told, the acting strong and believable with high energy, the action and battle scenes appear authentic

Robin Hood is playing in theatres everywhere. Check local listings.

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