Remember the good old days (i.e., eight years ago) when directors of historical fables would deliver at least a semblance of historical realism? No one presumed that Ridley Scott‘s Robin Hood, Kevin Reynolds and Kevin Costner‘s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves or Michael Curtiz‘s The Adventures of Robin Hood were scrupulous representations, but at least they gave it a shot — half historical, half Hollywood costume values of the moment.
Otto Bathurst‘s Robin Hood (Summit, 11.21) is a perverse renunciation of the Curtiz, Reynolds and Scott approach. The idea seems to be “let’s nominally indicate that our Robin Hood is set in the distant past, but otherwise let’s undercut any hint of historical realism and turn the whole enterprise into a preening video game.” I’m thinking in particular of Ben Mendelsohn wearing a 21st Century, corporate-friendly, side-parted $250 undercut as the Sheriff of Nottingham, not to mention his costume looking like something he bought at Rag & Bone.
“Rancid Hood Fantasy,” posted on 5.3.18: The makers of this obviously ludicrous, video-game-level Robin Hood flick — director Otto Bathurst, producer Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson, costars Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx and Ben Mendelsohn, screenwriters Ben Chandler and David James Kelly — need to walk into the woods, strip themselves to the waist, kneel and submit to two dozen lashes administered by hooded monks.
The idea was to make a bullshit action fantasy in the vein of Guy Ritchie‘s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (’17). Why I can’t imagine — Ritchie’s film was godawful, and only made $148 million worldwide. Nonetheless, here it is. Anyone who finds this shit entertaining needs psychological counseling. Summit will release Robin Hood on 11.21.18.