And There’s a LOT of Competition
Let’s get this out of the way: there is only one GREAT Robin Hood movie. That is, of course, the original 1938 version starring Errol Flynn. There is only one good remake, and that’s the Disney one in which Robin is a fox and Little John is a bear and Roger Miller is a singing rooster.. The one that most people will think of is
The rest of the many, many remakes are all terrible. The second worst one is not the one with Kevin Costner. That one barely dodges the number two spot because Alan Rickman plays the evil Prince John, a surprising casting choice because the same people who perfectly cast him also cast Kevin Costner as Robin Hood. The second worst Robin Hood remake is the one with Russell Crowe, whose Robin is Historically Accurate, meaning that he is beefy, pale and sad.
And so now we have the worst of the Robin Hoods, which is actually a remake of the Kevin Costner one. Recall that in that version, Costner Hood’s origin story has him off fighting in a Crusade, where he befriends Morgan Freeman, who for some reason decides to tag along with Costner Hood back to England, and help him rob from the rich, etc. In this one, Taron Egerton, who is not Ansel Elgort or Alden Ehrenreich, but might be, plays Robin of Loxley. This Robin is a young nobleman who, shortly after kicking off a fling with Marian (played by Eve Hewson, who is Bono’s daughter) gets drafted to go fight overseas in a bloody pointless endless war in Arabia.
ROBIN HOOD ★ (1/5 stars)
Directed by: Otto Bathurst
Written by: Ben Chandler, David James Kelly
Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Eve Hewson
Running time: 116 min.
See what they did there? The Crusades are like Iraq and Afghanistan, except for the “rich upper class guys have to go fight too” part. This Robin also picks up a Moorish buddy, this time played by Jamie Foxx, who decides he owes this Robin a life debt because Robin tried to save his son from being executed. It’s less “oh, they’re like Han and Chewie!” and more “ugh, this is a really, really uncomfortable take on the Magical Black Mentor trope”.
That’s how things get rolling. From there, we get lots of running along rooftops and fancy CGI archery, punctuated with Ben Mendelsohn’s Sheriff of Nottingham chewing up whatever scenery Robin and his Only Slightly-Merrier-Than-Russell-Crowe’s Men don’t burn, blow up, or perforate with arrows. It’s a deeply weird film. Robin’s fellow Crusaders dress in what looks like modern-day desert camo, Robin is often referred to as “Rob”, and everyone has very nice hair and skin. It’s definitely weirder than the Costner one, and Costner’s casting was so weird that it made people forget that Christian Slater was in it. It’s certainly the worst of the Robin Hoods, but since the movie’s ending leaves things open for a sequel, we may be getting another. Fingers crossed that they turn the franchise over to Tommy Wiseau.