When I was a little girl, I watched the story of the legend of a hero who would steal from the rich to give to the poor. A hero who wanted justice for the people and would always find a way to cheat death to help more people.
This selfless, entertaining and sophisticated character, who captured my attention at a very young age and became my favorite hero, is the 1973 Disney version of Robin Hood. The 2018 adaptation, directed by Otto Bathurst, tells the story of one of the most memorable characters in English literature.
What makes Robin Hood’s story great is his complexity and his quest to find a better solution for the people of Nottingham. Even though he is one of the most beloved characters, he is also known as a trickster. Who better to portray an arrogant and clever Robin Hood than my favorite Kingsman, Taron Egerton, known for playing Eggsy in the Kingsman franchise, followed by his sidekick Little John, played by Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx.
The beginning of the movie gives the audience a clear understanding of what Robin is really fighting for, rather than creating a clear image of the cruelty of the Sheriff of Nottingham played by Ben Mendelsohn, or the poverty the people from Nottingham are suffering. Robin makes it loud and clear that his love interest for Marian, played by Eve Hewson, is what inspires him to persist after being sent to the crusades.
Egerton puts on the hood and surprisingly changes the whole dynamic of Robin being focused and very precise in his strategies to fight for the people. Instead of Robin starting the vendetta against the sheriff, it was Little John who persuaded Robin to fight for a bigger cause, after he returned from war to find Marian in the arms of Will Scarlet, played by Jamie Dornan, which turns into a very important element of the story.
The chemistry between Robin and Little John was usually what kept me laughing when I was a kid because Robin was very reckless and Little John would always make him see the bigger picture to accomplish more.
The dynamic between Egerton and Foxx was very rigid and forced. Foxx did not know how to be a sidekick. Both actors proved to their audience that they are comfortable portraying any kind of character; however, both of them usually play the main character, which made it hard to contemplate either of them as a secondary character.
Even though we all know the story of Robin Hood, in my experience, the story was never a romantic one. What captured my attention about the story was the hero’s quest rather than the hero falling in love and getting the girl. I always enjoyed the love story, but it was the cherry on top.
On the contrary, this adaptation illustrates a romantic Robin who has to be constantly reminded that he must choose between the people of Nottingham or his love for Marian. This diminishes the essence of my favorite hero, who in every scenario picks the good of the people rather than the girl.
Overall, each character gave an amazing performance. The movie is well directed in the sense that it will make you want to keep watching; however, “Robin Hood” missed the cut because the hero’s quest was lost between Robin’s love interest and the lack of chemistry between the main characters.