Robin Hood 2018: Almost Bad Enough to Be Funny

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My car needed some work done, so I hoofed over to the nearest movie theater to kill some time. There were only two movies starting that early in the day. One was some steroid-infused comic book superhero kind of thing, which you couldn’t have paid me to watch. The other was called Robin Hood.

With a name like that, how bad could it be? The story of Robin Hood is an important part of our mythology and maybe our history as well. Every decade or so, someone tries again with a remake and a new twist, most of them enjoyably adding to its deep lore. Any movie that begins with such a rich grounding cannot go too far off the rails, can it?

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Never say never. I felt like I’d walked into the steroid-infused comic book superhero movie, only this one justified itself with the title of Robin Hood. For once, I wish there were someone controlling that trademark, since they sure wouldn’t have let it be this poorly misappropriated.

For better or for worse, I hadn’t read or watched any reviews prior to walking in to see Robin Hood 2018. If I had, I probably would have taken a good book to sit in a coffee shop instead. It would have been a better use of my time. But then I would not have had the chance to write a scathing review, which is a different kind of entertainment.

Henceforth, I will refer to this rubbish as Robin Hood 2018, adding that year to its title to distinguish it from the broader legend. The moviemakers were too pretentious to even add a subtitle. Yet their product does not earn the right to use the name.

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Here was an earlier version that actually used a subtitle and did not take itself seriously. RH Men in Tights from 20th Century Fox.

Without more ado about nothing, I’ll proceed to review the film. To borrow a line from Gertrude Stein, “there is no there there.” I’ll spare you the puns about robbing my time or stealing the price of a movie ticket, but do yourself a favor and don’t waste your own resources on this. The only exception would be for movie fans who love Jamie Foxx and need to watch anything he is in, since he certainly shines in this movie, as usual.

By the second scene in Robin Hood 2018, the plot (to the extent there is one) has been revealed to its full extent: good vs. evil and an inevitable tumble towards an epic battle between the two that will never actually resolve the fact that these counterparts always remain in a constant struggle. Good = simple people who work hard and barely scratch out a living. The working poor. Evil = a longer list, but basically the Sheriff of Nottingham as the stand-in for every political dictator and industrial magnate who uses military and financial might to suck all the money he can from the working poor. He does so with the justification of spending the money on a Holy War on behalf of the church. And in this movie, the church stands firmly on the evil side of the pews with all of its twisted purpose and manipulations.

The church’s main representative here is a cardinal who drips with evil. One of his first lines (and I’m paraphrasing) is something like: “Fear is our most important weapon. That why the church created hell.” So much for subtlety. There is none to be found in this film.

By the way, here's a video trailer:

From the beginning, the costumes and architecture are clues that Robin Hood 2018 has no grounding in time or place. They begin looking acceptably medieval, but then from the castle walls, you notice an ugly high rise in the distance. It gets weirder when the Sheriff of Nottingham crashes the period party wearing a gray suit coat with an odd clasp; it’s just the kind they sell at the Jos. A. Bank outlet store on the planet Lah’mu. Instead of creating a new outfit, I think they paid a cheap tailor to re-jigger Ben Mendelsohn’s costume so he could wear the same thing he used on the Rogue One movie set. They also coated it in naugahyde (too bad Armani doesn’t do polyester). Other characters soon start wearing button down shirts and quilted jacket liners.

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The sets get even weirder. For most of the movie, surroundings are dominated by wood frames and scaffolding to befit the mine where the proletariat toil. Then there is the crumbling castle that could fit into the first half of any Disney princess flick.

But when you see the town from above, it begins with an upper crust that’s more like a video game than anything I've seen in England. The roofs and their various segments land somewhere between Beijing and Dubrovnik. East slides into West as the camera pans down and we see the walls. Suddenly, we’ve been transported to the European Middle Ages (again?), complete with crusades banners. The heroes delight in using medieval Christian paintings for target practice later in the movie. Did I mention the moviemakers don’t care much for organized religion? Nor art nor culture, apparently.

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There is an early scene during the Crusades in the Middle East, and even after we return to Old Mother England, Nottingham retains a strong thread of Araby. The people, the dress, the way life is depicted: at times, Nottingham feels like it’s set in the Middle East or North Africa. Then the cold, white, and coal mines create some reasonable doubt.

So the viewer realizes this: Robin Hood 2018 is set in every time and place. The struggle of good and evil happened centuries ago in deserts and coal mines. And it’s still happening every day around us. And the futuristic costumes suggest it won’t end today. The poor are bled and worked to death to feed someone’s wealth and power. And if the villains pretend they are comic book caricatures and squeeze the people too hard, then they’ll end up inciting rebellions rather than creating a more sustainable status quo where they can rape and pillage for longer periods without protest. The smart virus doesn’t kill its host.

If you want to play dress-up and pretend this is Robin Hood, then the characters have familiar names. There is a Robin of Loxley, a Marian, a John, Will, and Friar Tuck. You won’t recognize them, nor does the archery rescue anything about this unfortunate film. It’s simply an excuse to turn a rich legend into another steroid-infused comic book superhero thing, chock full of needless shooting and destruction. The title character has no character development, but the actor does a palatable job of existing. Maid Marian and the others are acceptable enough. My favorite character was Jamie Foxx as John; he is a terrific actor and fun to watch. I also had high hopes for Friar Tuck, who reminded me of a warm Steve Buscemi in dreadlocks. But though Tim Minchin brought life to the role, it wasn’t enough to save anyone’s soul.

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This movie was dark and violent. It had no wit and no guile. Taking from the rich and redistributing to the poor should be fun amidst an undercurrent of necessity. This movie missed Robin Hood’s spirit entirely.

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The setting for the real legend, Sherwood Forest, did not appear until the final scene. That was the first time I saw a tree. For turning the rich tale of Robin Hood into an urban street fighting mess, the new Sheriff in town hereby sentences these filmmakers to be strung up between real trees with apples on top of their heads. Send out some real Agincourt archers dressed in As You Like It costumes and quoting lines from Monty Python with minstrels playing and jesters spinning cartwheels. That would be more fun to watch.

Promotional movie images and screenshots from the Robin Hood 2018 film come from Lionsgate, which should be ashamed for green lighting this piece of trash.

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I remember them laying into Russell Crowe’s robin hood pretty harshly when it came out and I didn’t think it was that bad!

Was pretty dark and serious but still an acceptable adaptation of the IP

I also haven’t checked out anything about the 2018 reboot but from your review I’ll give it a miss! Sounds like a hot mess trying to be too much and appeal to too wide an audience which is weird since well it’s Robin Hood the story sells itself! We all know it and love it

These new reboots should really label themselves as parodies

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Exactly. Men in Tights and Monty Python were obvious parodies, but this one might as well be also (just not quite as funny).

If not that you are telling me now, i never knew there is another movie titled robinhood which is different from the original robinhood that i know. I always enjoy watching that one anytime back then but i guess those new robinhood is nothing to write about

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Stick to the older ones until they make something better than this.

Very good summary of this movie that can be said you lost the time you could take for something more, if I heard bad reviews about this movie friend, I'm so sorry they damaged the reputation of poor Robin Hood I know as a girl

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They only damage it for a new generation, and I feel sorry for those youngsters, but if they can handle reading older stories or watching older movies, those are all we need to remember.


It's a movie that's just a lot of energy stuffed in and has used the same old story... This days Hollyfood not take new stories in the film world.
Because greed is so big in the Hollyfood... to get the full value of the whole movie in their own pocket.
As long as they do not change themselves mind, we will see a lot of the same stories that are being maid100 different ways. So... it is not good film, when I see same story all time.


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True. It's been a common complaint recently with other movies that are similar pieces of junk.

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True .

@donkeypong, You're perfectly give review of this RobinHood 2018. I remember I watched previous Robinhood series. Still read your article I watched movie trailer. But older movie interesting to me than new version. New version build up new technology. It seems so faster Handling the bow. But some scenes, fascinating to mine. I got few minutes to Visualize movie better. However I think you were enjoyed well :D
Thanks for the excellent summery.

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The only enjoyable part is writing a review of a bad movie.

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I go to the movies pretty often and had a lot of worries as a fan of the Robin Hood story when I first saw this trailer. Something about it just was 'off'. It seems those worried were justified.

For me the best Robin Hood adaptation is still a tv show called Robin Of Sherwood from 80's. Maybe childhood sentiment but a quick google is that even today it's appreciated. I might even rewatch it now, it's been decades since I seen it.

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Yes, there you go. That's the real story. Give this one a pass.

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I remember that show @exyle! I can still remember the theme music; The hooded one... :-)

Cg

I'm torn between the animated Disney version and Mel Brooks' Men In Tights as my favorite adaptations of Robin Hood.As soon as I saw the first previews, I knew this new one would be awful, and the worst part is, I know exactly which friends and relatives will agree and which will insist it's SO AWESOME!

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Yes. I can respect different views, but frankly, anyone who thinks this movie is awesome needs a good film education. It's OK, I know plenty of people with bad musical tastes also. :)

You sound so infatuated by the movie, I haven't watched it before and from your review am not sure I will.
Though my mind went from reading your review to closely looking deeper into how you write your English and your choice of words with puns in it. Very impressive.

Though...... brought some life into the movie it wasn't enough to save any souls.

There, there is no there 😁 😂
There is no there there 😁 😂 😂.

How did you even do that because many of them exist in the write up.

Coming from an aspiring writer.

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You noticed some hidden gems. I don't know if they're really gems, but I try.

Hahaha! I am trying to imagine it as how you've described it and I don't think I'll like it. My favorite version was 1994 or 1996 I guess, the one that starred Kevin Costner. It's one of my favorite movies of all time.

I did not even know there is a 2018 version until I read your post. Thanks for sharing your review. Have a nice day!

You're right when you see Robin Hood's name because of the trajectory he has, we know it can not be bad
Seeing that jacket is known to be something more current does not have the usual costume and their hats
I think some movie like the hunger games something more modern, although these movies are not my strong I think we all love Robin Hood, I hope this movie does not change anything
Regards @donkeypong

So you're saying, the kevin costner one is still the best one Tom? Your scathing review is quite hilarious! Imma

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The Costner one is fine. The older ones are fine. The parodies are fine. Skip this one.

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only this one justified itself with the title of Robin Hood.

I remember thinking almost the exact same thing when I watched the Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downy Jr. It was just an action movie that used the name to sell tickets.

So much for subtlety. There is none to be found in this film.

Most movies nowadays have no subtlety. Whereas some things used to be left to the imagination, now they show everything! What's the point of having one of the most powerful imagination devices in our skulls if they just force-feed us this garbage?

Just from watching the trailer, I was also perplexed by the costumes. At one point I even thought, "wait, is this Robin Hood or a movie about modern riots."

I wasn't planning on seeing it anyway, but after watching the trailed and reading your review, I'll spend the money on silver coins instead.

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Yes, buy some silver instead. I stopped doing so when my sock drawer filled up. 'Force feeding us garbage' is an accurate conclusion.

They made a new one? They always do when there is a recession coming

Because quilted vests look soooo much like scale male... no one will notice and we'll save millions on wardrobe?

I may have to watch this, as it is probably written and filmed by a "bad guy" and this is how they assume the "good guys" will attack and uselessly blow up their own homes and defenses while not actually doing any real harm to the structure that keeps "bad guys" in power.

Knowing your enemy is very important.


But really, the story of Robin Hood only has a happy ending because the good king comes back.

There is nothing of any real solution. There is only peasants who can't stand up for themselves. Don't know how to defend themselves. Can't do anything but pay taxes. And they "have to" be rescued.

Its a recipe for disaster.

Oh dear. I was excited when I saw the trailer at the cinema. I guess I might seat this one out then haha.

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If you liked the trailer, then the action might appeal to you, but that's about all you get from this one.

awesome the movie brother,i like robin hood,a hero who is brave and good at archery @donkeypong

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Lolz. Well, It clearly has its own special place in the British chronology.
And I think I already developed some interest in the art of this 'legend'. So very soon, I'm sure, I will get my hands on the new one.
no matter how whack it is.

Robin hoods it is only him .The guy hundred years ago not this movie what look bad for mine

I mean I knew it was gonna be terrible, but I mean what do producers even think before their money on projects such as these. Haven’t they read the script or did some background research on the director to make sure that they know the movie is in safe hands.

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This is such a pity....I would have paid to see a decent Robin Hood again

Speaking of church,hell,fear..for me, if I didn't want anything, i think the fear i have would totally go away.

Wow, this is the second Robin Hood 2018 review I have read on Steemit. @Coldsteem wrote one 10 days ago (you can find it here: https://steemit.com/movies/@coldsteem/robin-hood-2018-movie-review). It is interesting to see that you both share the same opinions about the movie (none of you like it).

I smiled a lot seeing your title about being so bad that it might get funny. You know what that means? I have to be extremely tired when I watch it, and then it might actually become a success and I will laugh hard at what I see. If not, I will simply fall asleep!

Glad to read your movie review anyway, always love reading'em at Steemit!

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Thanks for the comment. I haven't read that review yet, but will. Yes, it's mindless action, so thinking people demand a bit more. Not quite bad enough to be unintentionally funny, but getting there.

This film sounds weird, and a definite candidate for a Razzie. Did they all (Minchkin excluded) have American accents as well?

Cg