“Forget history,” so says the new reboot of “Robin Hood” in the film’s opening narration. Although the critics reviewing “Robin Hood” weren’t so quick to forget previous installments of the legend, many hope to quickly erase this one.
The early reviews of “Robin Hood,” starring Taron Egerton (“Kingsman”) and Jamie Foxx in the action-adventure film opening Wednesday, have pegged Otto Bathurst’s (“Peaky Blinders”) film as a lazy retread of “Batman Begins” that borrows the worst traits from Guy Ritchie’s “King Arthur” flop and the over-stylized action sequences of “300.”
“Rife with stereotypes, a terrible script, and odd ‘300’-esque cinematography that just doesn’t fit, this is not only a film nobody asked for, but also one that nobody should be forced to endure,” TheWrap’s Yolanda Machado says in her review.
“Robin Hood” also stars Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan and Ben Mendelsohn in a modernized, “gritty” retelling of the legend of Robin of Loxley. But the film isn’t set in the Sherwood Forest; rather, it’s an origin story as he trains to become a thief and steal from the rich to give to the poor. Better yet: it’s how Robin Hood became Batman.
“The first thing you have to realize about this new riff on an age-old hero is that he’s basically just Batman, minus any of the compelling backstory,” Indiewire’s David Ehlrich writes.
At time of writing with 22 critics reporting, “Robin Hood” has an 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Read excerpts from some of the reviews below:
Glenn Kenny, The New York Times
“Taron Egerton’s Robin of Loxley struts and pouts through his manor before being sent to the Crusades, where he stands up for the Moor who will become this version’s Little John (Jamie Foxx, who must have lost a bet).”
Yolanda Machado, TheWrap
“Reboots and remakes are meant to introduce a new audience to a classic tale with fresh ideas and storylines that make the story relevant to modern audiences. ‘Robin Hood’ doesn’t even try. Instead, first-time feature writers Ben Chandler and David James Kelly deliver a woefully uninspired script, with words like ‘If not you, then who? If not now, then when?’ (That’s Marian, channeling Hannah Arendt, to Robin, even though she’s been in the front lines of their resistance for years while he’s a newbie.) This entire script could have come from a Cliff Notes summary of a novelization based on any of the previous films.”
David Ehrlich, Indiewire
“If nothing else, this accidentally hilarious, goofy train wreck of an origin story most definitely has the courage of its convictions. Alas, the film isn’t smart enough to recognize that its convictions are dumb, and it doesn’t have the goods to back them up in the first place.”
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
“Guy Ritchie’s idiotic, leathered-up, fancy-weaponed take on King Arthur worked out so wonderfully for all involved last year ($149 million worldwide box office on a $175 million budget) that someone still evidently thought it would be a good idea to apply the same preposterous modernized armaments, trendy wardrobe and machine-gun style to perennial screen favorite Robin Hood.”
Andy Crump, Polygon
“Gone is the swashbuckling rogue, replaced by a familiar combination: Robin Hood makes a brooding attempt at grounding the story in the real world, while Robin’s superhuman feats of martial as well as athletic prowess undermine the gritty realism. This isn’t history, it’s hisstory — a literal line from the introductory monologue, assuring us that this take on Robin Hood is the genuine article and not the hokem we’ve been spoon fed in the past.”
William Bibbiani, IGN
“This new Robin Hood evokes a few modern storytelling styles, and has a charismatic new cast, but offers no interesting perspective on the character or his adventures. It may very well be the first Robin Hood movie without an actual point.”