Claiming to re-vamp “all you thought you knew” about the Robin Hood legend, here’s yet another attempt to get a Sherwood Forest franchise going.
Ridley Scott failed a few years ago with his Russell Crowe effort, and I can’t see this iteration, with a square-jawed Taron Egerton in the lead, doing any better.
It’s nothing but a grim procession of war contraptions lightened by shots of a pretty Marion smiling.
The best that can be said about it is I liked the costumes and the attempts to update things so that the Crusades battle feels like The Hurt Locker and the rebelling poor in Nottingham look like G8 protesters, with kerchief masks and molotov cocktails.
Ben Mendelssohn is ok as the Sheriff of Nottingham, but not a a patch on Alan Rickman, and Tim Minchin is wasted as a whingeing Friar Tuck. To ask why there are so many Australians in it is, I suppose, as silly as wondering why medieval Nottingham looks like a Provencal hill village, but then this was shot in Croatia, so…
I’m not asking for historical veracity, but a bit of fun would have surely been welcome? The swagger of Errol Flynn or the wiles and songs of the cartoon Disney version would have been a great boost. And the casting of Jamie Foxx as Big John, who follows Robin back from the Crusades and trains him up in the art of guerrilla warfare, means their scenes have a whiff of a Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed montage, without any of the uplift.
I’m not looking forward to the sequel – indeed, I doubt they’ll even make it.