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Westside Steve

Robinhood review

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Robin Hood
PG 13.               116 min

On my list how things that piss me off is a second-rate remake of one of my favorite stories or characters. We know that every few years the studios are going to come out with a brand new version of one of my time tested heroes, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Rocky Balboa, King Arthur, Superman and now Robin Hood.  Given the weeks or months of anticipation of the latest chapters from these guys it’s especially disappointing if the studio doesn’t do a great job knowing that it will be a few more years before I see them on the silver screen again. As you know I don’t read anyone else’s reviews until after I seen the flick and made up my mind but it’s impossible not to see the Metascore while checking for show times. Both audiences and critics apparently gave this one a dismal rating but hey I’ve been known to disagree with both those groups. Frankly it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared, but make no mistake, there were plenty of opportunities for face palms in this visit to Sherwood Forest.
Voice over at they opening encourages audiences to forget what they’ve heard or read about the legend of Robin Hood, and that’s probably a good idea if you’re going to get through this one. 
Now certainly I realize that ROBIN HOOD is most likely a myth but it’s a myth we’ve all grown up with and a group of merry men living in the forest wearing green tights that we seem to know well. Of course these days nothing is safe from politics. Certainly the bad guy remains the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) the cruel and greedy despot who runs roughshod over the peasants but here the producers force in the added element of Islamophobia, pedophile priests and the unjust Crusades. The sheriff along with the crown and the church are pillaging the commoners in order to support the war as well as enrich themselves. Nobleman and part-time thief Robin of Locksley (Taron Egerton) is conscripted to fight the Muslim hordes and accidentally gains the respect and trust of one of the enemy warriors (Jamie Foxx) who will later be called John. When Robin (mistaken for a war casualty) returns to Nottingham he finds his ancestral home has been confiscated by the bad guys and his girlfriend Marion (Eve Hewston) hanging around with a rabble rouser called Will Scarlet (Jamie Dornan). Wearing a disguise about as believable as Clark Kent glasses Robin leads a secret life as The Hood a vigilante who steals from the rich and gives to the… well you know the drill.  Meanwhile Robin of Locksley is pretending to suck up to the sheriff (wink wink)
1.    Anyway one of the problems is that the cast, arguably a pretty good bunch, don’t seem like they have much to work with, and don’t care much about even that. I think Edgerton lacks the gravitas to play Robin, Mendelssohn leaves a lot of points on the field with his lackluster portrayal of the sheriff (and it seemed to me he ordered his leather jacket from a Lands End catalog) and even F Murray Abraham never seems like he isn’t quite sure where to go as the Cardinal. Tim Minchin adds a humorous edge to Friar Tuck and I have to admit Hewston’s Maid Marian was so pretty I didn’t care all that much about.  Still the script isn’t that good the action not that spectacular and the politically correct lesson too heavy-handed. Didn’t hate it but can’t really give it a hearty recommendation, you’re on your own gang

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