Did you know there are six more Robin Hood related projects currently in production? Margot Robbie will be in one about Maid Marian, Robin Hood 2058 sees Robin in a dystopian future London, and Disney have Merry Men coming for the kids. For starters though, we get Robin’s origin story in Robin Hood (2018).
Opening with the narrator (Aussie Tim Minchin) telling us to abandon the stories we’ve heard before, you know Kevin Costner is going to shake his head and Russell Crowe will wonder what they’ve done to his fearless crusader. This is a Robin Hood for a new generation, so take your nostalgic expectations elsewhere.
Watch Review of Robin Hood (2018)
We meet Robin (Taron Egerton) as a young man falling in love with Marian (Eve Hewson). The two meet over an exchange where she’s trying to steal his horse, and it becomes love at first crime. Whisking her away to his manor (Robin’s a Lord you know), the future’s looking bright for the pair until Robin receives the call to go to war.
This isn’t ‘war’ as we know it though. No guns, aeroplanes, or nuclear weapons – this is bare fisted bow-and-arrow combat. Which you shouldn’t think for a second is dull. One of Robin Hood’s greatest intentions seems to be to show us how high-action and forceful battles of these kind can be.
It’s in the war that Robin meets Little John (Jamie Foxx), an unlikely ally who teams up with Robin on his infamous quest to “steal from the rich to give to the poor”. The two rally against the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn), creating a groundswell of support from the people who simply want to know who their hero is.
Robin Hood doesn’t seek to be as dramatic and true-to-life as other reboots might. There’s enough cries of, “Oh come on! He’d DEFINITELY be dead,” from the audience to know that much. This Robin Hood is here for the thrill and the cool shots of Taron Egerton releasing three arrows mid-flight, training with pullies and sandbags to become our masked warrior. There’s no gyms in old England.
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The real bite of Robin Hood is in its representation of the church. The Sheriff and the Cardinal fuel their corruption with the sentiment that, “fear is God’s greatest weapon”. There’s no sense of a loving sacrificial God in their midst. Friar Tuck (Tim Minchin) offers the only semblance of a church leader you’d want to be friends with, and even he is slightly compromised.
Robin and his crew are our redeeming feature, with Muslims, Christians, and men and women of all means working together to create change. A case in point of Christ’s call for us to love our neighbour.
Robin Hood is a high energy, youthful take on the character you love, showing a new audience what it means to put the people first and fight for what’s right. It’s suitable for teen and adult audiences.
Robin Hood is in cinemas now
Release Date: 22/11/2018
Running Date: 116 mins
Director: Otto Bathurst
Cast: Jamie Dornan, Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx