According to Wikipedia right now there have been 77 adaptions of Robin Hood to the big and small screen (with another 7 in production and an unknown number of appearances). Spanning from the silent ‘Robin Hood and his Merry Men’ in 1908 few action heroes can boast a career over a century old on screen. So with the new Robin Hood in cinemas with Kingsman’s star Eggsy/Taron Egerton does this new one have something new under the hood.
For those who have just landed on Earth and not familiar with Robin Hood – Welcome, try the veal. Robin Hood is a medieval English archer hero who would rob from the rich and give to the poor. While the circumstances do vary with each new film Robin is normally a nobleman returning from the crusades to find the evil Sheriff of Nottingham taxing the people into oblivion while all the higher-ups are off fighting. He also sometimes likes to cut peoples hearts out with spoons.
The latest Robin Hood follows the more traditional route on an accelerated timetable with Robin of Locksley being drafted for the crusades and set off to war. While we follow Robin in a sequence we can only describe as Black Hawk Down but with bows and arrows, it is not long before he sent home with the medieval version of a dishonorable discharge. On Robin’s return, he finds he has been presumed dead with his girlfriend (Marian) moving on, his home in ruins and the Sheriff having risen to power while heavily taxing the people for the war efforts (and seemingly throwing most of them in the mines).
Where this take on the original Green Arrow starts to vary is that this is not a Robin Hood movie but rather a Robin Hood origin film. Robin’s Batman Begins after returning from war sees him learning to become the Hood under Jamie Foxx’s John (or Morgan Freeman’s character if you need another Prince of Thieves reference). Much like Batman, Robin from stately Locksley manor assumes the role of Thief by Night and Lord by Day. Playing up to the Sheriff played by Director Krennic/Ben Mendelsohn, complete with long white coat and stormtrooper like guards.
So should you go see it? If you are a fan of Oliver Queen/Katniss or any of the other pop culture archers you probably already have booked some tickets. While every Robin Hood film says it has a new take on the character this one is without question the most action hero take on Robin so far. While more of an origin story and not aiming to tell a complete tale, you know the character and this film plays well into being a standalone film with your knowledge of the character taking off where this film ends.
Robin Hood shoots into cinemas across Australia from today.