"Reel Reviews: ‘Robin Hood’ has tons of action but isn’t the story you remember" by: Jessica Shepard

   “Robin Hood” is the latest attempt at telling a centuries-old story and it flops at that.
   The film is rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive references and has only grossed $49 million against a budget of $100 million.
   Robin Hood is an action-adventure film directed by Otto Bathurst and written by Ben Chandler and David James Kelly, from a story by Chandler. 
   It is based on the tale of Robin Hood, and follows his training by John to steal from the Sheriff of Nottingham. 
   The film stars Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin, Paul Anderson and Jamie Dornan. 
   Robin of Loxley (Egerton), Lord of Nottingham, enjoys a good life with his lover, Marian (Hewson), before he is enlisted by the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham (Mendelsohn) to fight in the Crusades against the Moors. 
   After five years away from England, Robin becomes disillusioned with the Crusades when he fails to prevent his commander, Sir Guy of Gisborne (Anderson), from executing a boy despite the pleading of the boy’s father, which prompts Gisborne to send Robin back to England.
   When he returns to Nottingham, Robin learns from his old friend Friar Tuck (Minchin) that the Sheriff had him officially declared dead two years prior in order to seize Robin’s land to continue funding the war effort at the behest of the corrupt Cardinal. 
   Investigating the mines of Nottingham, Robin witnesses the commoners planning to rise against the government that oppresses and exploits them, and learns that Marian is now involved with their aspiring leader, Will Tillman (Dornan). 
   Robin is prevented from making contact with her by the Arab whose son he tried to save. 
   The man (Foxx) introduces himself as Yahya – which he says can be translated to “John” – and proposes that he and Robin work to end the war by breaking the bank of England in the form of Nottingham. 
   Marian seeks Robin upon learning that he is alive, but he chooses to leave her out of his plans for her own protection.
   Through a grueling training regime in his old manor, Robin greatly improves his skills in archery and combat, and begins stealing the riches that the Sheriff has extorted from the townspeople, earning the nickname “The Hood,” while concealing his activities by masquerading as a frivolous playboy who supports the Sheriff’s regime. 
   That’s where the story picks up steam and leads us into the real point of donning the hood – unseating the Sheriff of Nottingham and exposing his evil plots.
   Overall, if you ignore the attempt to rewrite a pillar of English folklore, then it’s a great movie.
   The fight scenes and chases are more than worthy.
   But, putting them in a muddied medieval backdrop with the vague mention of the Crusades and some strangely modern training techniques?
   It’s a stretch and for those familiar with other Robin Hood stories, including the old folktales.
   Still, it’s beautifully shot and is a very different take on an old story.
   It just doesn’t scream “Robin Hood” loud enough for me and that makes it hard for me to recommend the film.

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