‘Blu-ray or Bust’
ROBIN HOOD (2018, PG-13, 116 minutes, SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT/LIONSGATE)
You’ll have to forgive me this week; I’m struggling to find something good to say about this movie.
Hold on…wait…there’s a…
…nope. It sucks. Plain and simple: I cannot find anything remotely redeemable about this…this thing. I cannot refer to it as a “movie” or a “film”, as that would insult those that actually work hard to obtain that status. I also cannot refer to it as a “train wreck”; lots of good people have sacrificed their lives to lend a serious tone to that phrase, and they certainly would not want to be associated with this endeavor. I would use “bucket of monkey turds”, but I’m afraid I would be offending those hard-working monkeys, and I do not need the Primate Union beating on my door.
Allow me to get to the point: remember all of those other films about Robin Hood, the hero that stole from the rich and gave to the poor? GO WATCH THEM INSTEAD. I’ll even throw in that Kevin Costner travesty in the mix—even that is better than this. First-time screenwriters Ben Chandler and David James Kelly (apparently, he needs three names to emphasize his suckiness) have taken the classic tale you know so well and giving it a giant overhaul with crayons made out of goldfish poop and sadness. It’s really that poorly written. And having Otto Bathurst (who could have just stuck with one of those names to emphasize his suckiness) direct it doesn’t help. Honestly, it’s like a bunch of coked-up kindergartners hacked into screenwriting software and threw up all over the screen.
For starters, don’t expect the costumes to follow any historical themes. Even the peasants wear shiny black leather, and the women attending balls wear high heel stilettos (not invented until the 1950’s, thankyouverymuch). Next, don’t expect the classic characters to follow their original parts and/or paths. This is referred to as “reimagining” of the stories, which basically means the writers were allowed to bastardize EVERYTHING. Also, physics apparently did not exist in the time period in which this “reimagining” takes place. Neither did gravity, wind, and/or dependable combustibles (at one point, a wall of fire is supposed to spring up behind a row of bad guys, and it only lights halfway…there is a brief pause…aaaannd then the rest is magically lit). Oh, and carts pulled by horses could drift. And accents come and go—Jamie Foxx tries for Arabic, then just gives in and goes full British—until he gets angry, then he’s All American, baby!
The CGI here is reminiscent of my pre-school drawings, meaning that an epileptic sea monkey could have drawn this crap better. There are a lot of fight scenes, but it is mostly with bows and a marvelously endless supply of arrows. If you want to see great choreographed fight scenes, I recommend 1938’s THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, with Errol Flynn as Robin; this was actually the second film I ever purchased on laser disc, and is arguably the best iteration of the legendary hero. If I ever happen so see this particular version of the story on laser disc, I’m sacrificing my player to the Old Gods.
So, really, DON’T WATCH THIS. Watch anything but this. Two other great films were recently released on Blu-ray: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, and A STAR IS BORN. Go watch those; they are actual films, and will actually illicit an emotion out of you other than boredom. Or anger for having wasted your money. Yes, go watch BOHEMIAN—it shows Queen playing at Live Aid, whereas ROBIN HOOD is more of a sleep aid. You’re welcome.
Film Grade: F
Special Features: The outtakes are boring, the deleted scenes should be a lot longer (by, like, 116 minutes), and there is a really short making-of doc that justifies your using this as a death Frisbee come the zombie apocalypse.
Blu-ray Necessary: Oh hell no!
-- T.S. Kummelman