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“I could bore you with history. But you wouldn’t listen.” The matey narration to this Robin Hood reboot assumes an audience for whom history is dead and dull, most useful as the backdrop to the latest edition of Call of Duty. “Forget history. Forget what you think you know.” Having neatly disengaged itself from the shackles of accuracy, the film proceeds to take liberties so outrageous they would make a Carry On film blush.
“History” in this case evidently includes film history. There is no tacit acknowledgement, in this robbing hoodie rampage, of the Hoods of yore. No nod to the debonair danger of Errol Flynn, nor even the dour efficiency of Russell Crowe (although the film does filch a narrative device from the Kevin Costner incarnation, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves). But mainly, this is medieval England as a Hunger Games dystopia, viewed through a Guy Ritchie-style geezer-prism that makes every line of dialogue sound like the precursor to a punch-up in a kebab shop.
It’s a world that is so incoherent and inconsistent you almost have to admire the chutzpah, in which buxom lady horse-thieves dress themselves for a night of crime displaying several inches of showy cleavage, contained only by a glorified shoelace. It’s a world in which the sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn), wearing something that looks like a cross between a leather abattoir apron and some kind of niche interest fetish gear, rubber-stamps a vellum scroll that turns out to be a notice summoning Robin (Taron Egerton) to the crusades. A world in which the simple bow and arrow is souped up into a high-power assault weapon best deployed by someone pivoting in slow motion from a rooftop on to the back of a moving wagon.
One highlight, however, is Mendelsohn’s sheriff. Not since James Earl Jones cut a Shakespearean swath through the cheese of Conan the Barbarian has a performance so outclassed the film that contains it.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Robin Hood review – a right Carry On up Sherwood forest | Action and adventure films