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471. Robin Hood; movie review

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Title : 471. Robin Hood; movie review
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Cert 12A
116 mins
BBFC advice: Contains moderate violence, threat

The day before Robin Hood's 2018 version was released, I was asked to go on BBC Radio Nottingham and give my assessment of previous incarnations.
Not all 75, you understand - after all, I was only on for about ten minutes.
But despite the shortness of time, I had the opportunity to praise Errol Flynn (the all-time classic), the Jungle Book-influenced version and the Richard Greene TV series.
I lambasted Robin of Sherwood with Michael Praed who is now in Emmerdale and had similarly little time for Kevin Costner.
I sat on the fence with regard to Russell Crowe.
Sadly, Otto Bathurst's film goes in the over-filled drawer marked 'naff'.
The film makes no bones about offering the viewer a different version to the centuries-old story of Robin of Loxley. (Taron Egerton)
And it starts promisingly enough with the lord being drafted into the crusades and away from his love, the maid Marian.
Strangely, Eve Hewson who plays Marian, does nothing to hide her Dublin accent while proclaiming the rights of her proud home city of Nottingham.
She is not alone - Jamie Dornan gives it large as Will Scarlet with an Ulster twang.
The accents are the least of it - but while we are on the subject - Jamie Foxx reprises memories of Kevin Costner with an American Little John.
I digress. When Robin is in the Holy Land, the audience is given a different perspective on his story.
When he returns, madness descends.
Yes, the Sheriff of Nottingham (the Australian Ben Mendelsohn) is still a baddie but he lives in a city which seems to be beside the sea (the last time I nipped into town, Nottingham was firmly land-locked) and he is the man behind the war in the Middle East (I thought that would have been the king).
He taxes the poor but, in this version of Robin Hood, they are miners rather than peasants (actually, this is more than possible during medieval times).
Bathurst's film made me roll my eyes so far I thought they would never return from the back of my skull.
Its attempts to be different rendered it ludicrous.
And, despite its bloated budget, there is a desperate lack of attention to detail.
This is particularly true of costume and make-up. Hewson looks as if she has just fallen out of Rock City circa last Friday rather than Nottingham Castle circa 11th century.
The special effects are half decent but they cannot save this from being box office poison and in Nottingham, where we know our Robin Hoods rather well, it is being treated with derision.

Reasons to watch: A different take on Robin Hood
Reasons to avoid: Plot and continuity holes galore

Laughs: None
Jumps: Two
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 3/10

Director quote - Otto Bathurst: “There’s no historical accuracy in the movie at all and that was conscious. We’re creating a metaphor, a spectacle, a fantastical thrilling world you’re thrown into."

The big question - Why bother?

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