An icon of English folklore, Robin Hood has historical ties all the way back to the 13th century.
There have been many interpretations of the legend of Robin Hood and his company. But at the core of this legend is a man outlawed due to his thieving exploits, who learns of his place in a world where the times seem to be getting worse for the people. There are various interpretations, renditions, and bodies of thought regarding this character.
One interpretation could portray Robin Hood operating at the helm of the Middle Ages, or another could portray him in a futuristic setting of post-apocalyptic proportions, thieving at the dawn of a new era. In any case, you can see a man in conflict. He’s an outlaw for the people, acting in their best interest, but he’s also a lover, who mostly just wants to spend time with his woman. There are a number of scenarios in which those traits can coincide, but not always. What we see in this film initially are elements of disharmony, which then pop and bang in a flurry of learning – learning from the environment and the times – in this modern-day rendition of the popular folk hero.
In this film, Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) is Lord of Nottingham and he’s in love with his paramour, Marian (Eve Hewson). Everything is rosy until he is drafted to fight in the Crusades against the Muslims. The love he shares is broken, but Marian assures him that she will wait for him. After four years fighting in a deadly war, he is sent back home to England.
Upon his return, he is informed of his lover Marian being involved with another man, and his estate being seized by the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) in order to fund the war effort. It’s at this point that Robin decides to let his feelings for Marian temporarily subside and he focuses his efforts towards stealing money from the corrupt Sheriff and redistributing it to the poor. He accomplishes, if that’s the completely suitable term, these self-redeeming endeavors by training with an old enemy turned mentor, Yahya/John (Jamie Foxx). He trains to perfect his abilities with a bow and arrow, his weapon of choice. His training and moral compass guide him on a perilous quest to give the power back to the people.
This film was decimated by critics, yet its worth isn’t devoid of merit. In the plethora of films that showcase this dynamic character, this is not the worst. It has good action, with horse-drawn wagon chases to phenomenal battle tactics; long-drawn and close-range fight sequences with the use of a bow and arrow.
The performance of Ben Mendelsohn playing the Sheriff of Nottingham was noteworthy. He was sly, vindictive, and an overwhelmingly good baddie. Taron Egerton’s performance wasn’t terrible, but he swayed, concerning himself a bit much with what was going on with his lover, Marian. I think a revolutionary like Robin Hood should be focused on this mission at hand, rather than what his actions might produce for his love life. Jamie Foxx gave a pretty good performance – he seemed quite comfortable in the skin of the Muslim freedom-fighter, John. Overall, the film wasn’t a disastrous dumpster-fire as these other critics will have you believe. If you like the character Robin Hood check out this movie.
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