He robs the rich to feed the poor: Robin Hood is the original social justice warrior. He is a militant advocate of wealth redistribution. A saviour of the many, not the few. A champion of the underclass, sticking it, shooting it and slashing it to the greedy elites. Surely he is the hero our troubled times cry out for?
Fear not, for help is at hand: galloping on to our screens this week comes a fresh new Robin Hood in the form of Taron Egerton, the boyish hero of the Kingsman movies. The timing is spot-on for this expensive production, which also stars Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Jamie Dornan and Eve Hewson. But don’t get your hopes up. This latest effort underlines just how difficult it is to make a good Robin Hood movie. The tale has been adapted so many times that a new version risks either telling the same old story, or revamping it beyond all recognition.
2 out of 5 stars.
Recent efforts have not served the myth well. Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe’s 2010 Robin Hood felt as if it wanted to be a Gladiator remake. The story at least attempted to integrate myth and history (to the point where Robin inspires Magna Carta), but it jettisoned all notions that Robin and his men were ever knowingly “merry”. The glumness of the whole exercise was summed up in a BBC radio interview when Mark Lawson asked Crowe if he was going for an Irish accent in the film (because it sure didn’t sound like an English one). Crowe responded: “You’ve got dead ears, mate,” and walked out of the interview in a huff.
Kevin - Costner - Robin - Hood - Prince
Before that, we had Kevin Costner’s inexplicably successful Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which brought little new to the table beyond Bryan Adams and hair product....
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