A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this sloppy take on the classic tale of Robin Hood stars Taron Egerton as the hero, with the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) painted as a warmonger. Expect lots of action violence, with intense fighting and arrow-shooting, but very little blood (though there is a stain after Robin is shot in the leg). There are also explosions, a riot, and a brief scene of violence toward a woman. A man is hanged, a face is burned, a hand is cut off, and there are verbal references to violence. A main character kisses two men; there are also some cleavage shots and flirtatiousness. Language includes uses of "s--t," "bastard," "piss," "goddamn," etc. Some social drinking is shown, and Robin briefly guzzles from a bottle of whiskey.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In ROBIN HOOD, Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) is a wealthy lord who meets the enchanting Marian (Eve Hewson) when she tries to steal his horse. They immediately fall in love, but then Robin is drafted into the army and sent to Arabia to fight in a war championed by the evil, greedy Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn). Robin returns years later to find a land ravaged by heavy taxes and Marian with Will (Jamie Dornan). John (Jamie Foxx), whose son Robin tried to save during the war, finds Robin and offers to train him to become a heroic thief, someone who can shake the foundations of those in charge. Pulling off several daring robberies, "The Hood" becomes a beacon of hope to the people, and as the Sheriff starts hunting him, the people are emboldened.
Is it any good?
Whether this is the worst Robin Hood movie ever made is up for debate, but it's certainly all kinds of terrible, from the lazy writing to the crummy, confusing action scenes. The story of Robin Hood is always a good one, and it always seems especially relevant in a society's more trying times, but the shaky, sloppy, numbing mess turned in by director Otto Bathurst -- a TV veteran making his feature debut -- doesn't seem to have anything motivating it. There's no evident burning desire to delve into the story again, just to shoot lots of things with fast-paced arrows and occasionally blow stuff up.
Many versions of Robin Hood have been made over the years; the two best are arguably the 1922 Douglas Fairbanks version and the 1938 Errol Flynn version (the 1973 Disney version is a sentimental favorite). Those movies were bold, cheerful, and flamboyant. But the more recent trend in Robin Hood has moved toward a depressing griminess, more like a relentless video game adaptation than anything rousing or exciting. This film slavishly follows that trend, although it quite possibly takes itself a little less seriously than its 1991 or 2010 predecessors, which is one of its few virtues. Egerton is another; it's hard to say whether he could have shone in a good movie, but in one this bad, he comes out ahead. Let's hope that someday, someone tries again and does right by good old Robin Hood.
Talk to your kids about ...
How does this film compare to other Robin Hood movies you may have seen? How is the story similar? Different?
Is Robin Hood, who technically breaks the law, a good guy? What makes him appealing? Is he a role model?
The movie talks about how fear and money can lead to power. How do the movie's villains use money and fear to gain power? Is that the same thing as being a bully?
The movie offers hope that people can stand up to oppressors with courage and teamwork. Is this true? Why or why not?
- In theaters: November 21, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: February 19, 2019
- Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn
- Director: Otto Bathurst
- Studios: Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters
- Run time: 116 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: extended sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive references
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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