Once again Robin Hood comes riding through the glen with Taron Egerton playing the eponymous hero, backed up by Jamie Foxx as Little John, Jamie Dornan as Will Scarlet and Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck. Eve Hewson is Robin’s love interest, Marian, whilst Paul Anderson takes off his Peaky Blinders cap to become Guy of Gisbourne and rent-a-villain Ben Mendelsohn is the Sheriff of Nottingham.
There have been lots of attempts to bring this evergreen heroic outlaw to the silver screen with many loosing their arrows and missing the mark. Indeed, many believe Errol Flynn a remarkable 80 years ago was the epitome of the man in tights and is still the performance to beat.
Does Taron Egerton’s effort hit the bullseye?
No, it doesn’t.
Too much CGI, a poor script and a handful of pantomime performances overshadows some fun set-pieces and makes this another notch on the pointless remakes bed post.
Set in an ambiguous period, yes we have the Crusades as the starting point but Nottingham’s architecture and culture offer up an alternative time zone, the story follows the familiar template. Robin reluctantly joins the Crusade, comes home, the Sheriff is being bad and so he steps up to sort him out.
Featuring an assortment of accents including a relegated to side-kick Jamie Foxx failing to decide exactly where his Little John hails from, director Otto Bathurst, in his feature film debut, manages to put together some stylish action scenes, including an opening battle where the arrows are as frequently fired as bullets, but the rest is nothing we haven’t seen before.
Taron Egerton is pretty much Eggsy from The Kingsman franchise (before he puts the suit on) and his charisma and likeability help him come through the film with flying colours. However the rest of the movie, and cast, aren’t quite as lucky. Tim Minchin could’ve been inspired casting as Friar Tuck but simply isn’t funny enough whilst Ben Mendelsohn and Paul Anderson ham it up spectacularly and fail to register any menace whatsoever.
The ending of course sets up a potential sequel, but Errol Flynn’s Lycra leggings are in no danger of being filled just yet.
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