• 15 Dec - 21 Dec, 2018
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

When Batman and Assassin Creed’s dress code get crossed, the inspiration gives birth to this year’s Robin Hood staring Taron Egerton – a combination that looks best suited as a television series but deadly for cinema release.

The legend of Robin Hood has periodically made its rounds in cinema halls, be it the enigmatic 1938 version with Errol Flynn or the iconic 1991 Kevin Costner, or recently the morose and serious one with Russell Crowe in 2010, or many others in between given the story’s pop culture and media manifestations. This Robin Hood fails ungracefully in setting up a newer, more relevant world.

The movie starts off with the narrator stating that “Forget history. Forget what you’ve seen before. Forget what you know”, starting clearly in the medieval time of the Crusades. The narrator, in fake-cool stubbornness then asserts:“I would tell you what year it was but I don’t actually remember”. With such a grand garble, expectation start off low and the end result is close to it.

Robin of Loxley is the lord of Nottingham and he lives a good life with his lady love Marian (Eve Hewson) in his manor. All is well till he is drafted for the crusades, so off he goes to fight the Muslims. At the end of a bloody battle, he sees his commander torturing and killing prisoners and citizens, the righteous Robin stands up against his own ilk, trying to save a young man from a beheading. He fails, but the boy’s father Yahya (Jamie Foxx),who is later called John, sees the good in Robin.

Robin is sent back home, and finds out that his property has been confiscated and used to fuel the crusades, while Marian has reluctantly moved on to another man (Jamie Dornan). Nottingham, his estate, is governed by corrupt Sheriff (Ben Mendelsohn), who is in turn under the care of even more corrupt Cardinal (F. Murray Abraham).

Yahya has also come to England with Robin and grooms him into a hood and mask wearing vigilante called ‘the Hood’, who at first was stealing from the rich and keeping it for himself and Marian. Soon he gets on track on heeding an advice from Marian that the Hood might give the riches back to the poor first.

Director Otto Bathurst has too much on the table and is hardly able to give justice to anyone. The world design is dark, totalitarian and medieval, and the same goes for the costumes; swords, bows, arrows and even Gatlings are used in combat – the style of combat deliberately harks of the present era. The areas where the poor reside is almost always combusting into flames from every corner, as if it was right in the middle of Isengard from Lord of the Rings. Yayha brings a strong positive Muslim iconography, besides that there is nothing to see or talk about. •