Film criticism "Robin Hood": Jump into the present

adminJanuary 10, 2019

In the beginning of Otto Bathurst's "Robin Hood", a narrative voice tells in a kind tone that one does not intend to drill us with the historical truth. It's an expression that sounds like a programmatic sentence: the movie won't be too specific about reality, it's about telling a compelling story.

But soon you realize that the phrase is really pure coquetry. After all, "Robin Hood" doesn't cling to something like manic as the very story of history. Historically, the film is in the English Middle Ages, but the reference is early in the 21st century.

Like every new edition of a story that has often been told, "Robin Hood" must not only present its theme, but also to vary it. Remake gives république its raison d'être – and Bathurst's film seeks this meaningful modification above all in fixed references to our present.

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"Robin Hood":
Agitator with bow and arrow

It's a somewhat schematic strategy, but it generates some interesting friction at least in the first third of the movie. After being ordered by the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) for the Crusades, the rich son Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton, "Kingsman") finds himself in the Arabian urban areas.

Fight like in Falluja

The subsequent fire arrest was organized by Bathurst, as if it were the fallujah fight of the last Iraq war: dust-covered troops rush through the ruins, arch and arrow in the attack as a modern assault rifle. Hidden snipers in the collapsed houses and stone blocks blown up by catapults explode like a mortar.

"Robin Hood"

USA 2018

direction: Otto Bathurst
script: Ben Chandler, David James Kelly
Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin
production: Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment
length: 116 minutes
Rated: From 12 years
start: January 10, 2019

The film seems to have no fear in this scene, tilting into the absurd and ridiculous, he evened out without a barely a millennium and stepped into hell out of two picture layers that didn't really fit together. The enrichment of the past with simultaneous references takes place here at a purely visual level – and thus maintains an exciting, dynamic openness.

Unfortunately, this momentum is over when Loxley returns to cloudy and otherwise very monotonous England. Along with a secret immigrant Arab warrior (Jamie Foxx), who calls himself "Little John", he sets out to rob as the "Robin Hood" treasury of Nottingham to exploit the funding of the Crusades.

What does this Robin Hood stand for?

This secret campaign unfolds as a series of action and attack sequences, characterized by the increasingly discriminatory use of extreme slow motion. As a tough dough, the film then dilates individual movements, desperately hoping to find something tasty somewhere – and then it always just goes into the room.

The feedback to our present is getting more and more cramped during the film, and is mostly no longer visual, but only at a linguistic level, as mere quotes that flow like foreign objects in the adventure plot. As if hiding this growing helplessness, the film accentuates the highly symbolic character "Robin Hood" – but is not aware of the contradictory character of this symbol. Is "Robin Hood" for the creation of a new political order or for the restoration of an old one? Is he a struggle for social justice or against an over-tax-hungry state?

In the video: The trailer of "Robin Hood"

These ambiguities can use "Robin Hood" for themselves, because this is where the daily relevance can be produced that the film will prove elsewhere on bending and breaking. But Bathurst's movies seem to know exactly what the protagonist is for, making it totally uninteresting.

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