by Hope Madden
Hey, do you guys remember Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur? I mean, of course you don’t. It made like $9.
Had it been anything other than a global box office disaster, a likeminded retooling of the British legend of Robin Hood might have made sense. And yet, here we have it: a poor man’s Guy Ritchie (Otto Bathurst) trying to anachronism his way through the old bandit’s tale.
Taron Egerton stars as the Hood, billed by imdb as “a war-hardened Crusader” but coming off more as a precocious 12-year-old. He’s joined by battlefield adversary and post-war comrade John (Jamie Foxx), who insists on calling him English regardless of the fact that they are in England and, you know, every single person is English. (Let’s not even talk about his accent.)
Eve Hewson and Tim Minchin round out the merry band as the politically liberal/inappropriately dressed Marian and the only actor who doesn’t embarrass himself, respectively.
Ben Mendelsohn shoulders the evil Sheriff of Nottingham duties this go-round. If you only know Mendelsohn from Ready Player One, Rogue One or Dark Knight Rises, please believe me when I say that he needs to stop playing scenery-chewing baddies. He is one of the most versatile and talented character actors in film today. Please go watch literally anything else he’s ever made. (Give yourself the gift of the Aussie film Animal Kingdom.)
Writers Ben Chandler and David James Kelly blandly reimagine Robin of Loxley’s origin story, casting aside any historical authenticity in favor of hip fun. Tragically, the result is never hip and rarely fun.
The film details some ludicrously debauched ties with the church and a global plot to bilk a few hundred peasants of more money than the whole of England would possess. Where do all those golden bowls and goblets come from? How many peasants are dining so flamboyantly?
They also reach to give the sheriff some Trumpian moments, though that backfires as well. As fine an actor as Mendelsohn is, it is tough for him to come off as a dumb ass.
The score feels cribbed, the action is video-game superficial and the costuming came directly from Forever 21.
Why did they make this movie again?