You could be forgiven for thinking Robin Hood, starring Taron Egerton, which opened this past weekend, was part of some expanded universe that also includes Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie from last year starring Charlie Hunnam. As it turns out, nope, that was just different chav-y reboot of a medieval English folk tale with anachronistic dialogue and athleisure inspired costumes. Who could’ve guessed we would one day look upon A Knight’s Tale with such genuine nostalgia?
No, it turns out this one was directed by Otto Bathurst (an episode of Black Mirror, three episodes of Peaky Blinders) and, judging by the paltry box office numbers, not many people saw it. Which may, just as in King Arthur‘s case, once again foil ambitious plans for eventual sequels. Both were revisionist origin stories, and both apparently end with portentous shots of the hero Doing That Thing We Know Them For (in King Arthur‘s case, it was a round table just being built).
In case you’re just a little curious about what we missed, I’ve brought back my old feature, Plot Recreated With Reviews, for the occasion. That’s when we try to piece together the entire plot of a movie using nothing but expository quotes from movie reviews (no analysis!). Because there’s no better way to experience a bad movie than having bored critics describe it to you.
“This isn’t a bedtime story,” a narrator insists early in Robin Hood. (TimeOut)
…declaring that [he] could explain “the history but you wouldn’t listen.” (SF Chronicle)
“I would tell you what year it is, but … I can’t remember,” Robin utters. (Hollywood Reporter)
Nottingham, a city rarely celebrated for its azure coastline, is re-imagined as a dusty Mediterranean fantasy with dreaming spires and exotically dressed clergy. (Irish Times)
Taron Egerton (from the “Kingsman” movies) plays Robin of Loxley, a soft and spoiled lord of the manor in Nottingham who has the hair and the dental work and the attitude of the leader of a boy band maybe two years past its prime, even though this story is set approximately 800 years ago. (Chicago Sun-Times)
When Rob — that’s what he goes by, because of course (Detroit News)
…catches a plucky, sass-talking, would-be thief (Eve Hewson) trying to make off with one of his horses, he tells her she can have the horse — if she’ll tell him her name. It’s Marian. Maid Marian. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Marian is covered in a hood, with a scarf covering half of her face and a dress that covers her up entirely — except for her chest, due to a very deep, low-cut front. (TheWrap)
Thus begins a fairy tale romance. (Chicago Sun-Times)
“They were young, in love, and that was all that mattered, until the cold hand of fate reached out for them,” the narrator notes of the couple’s early days, during which they are seen kissing while backing each other into a wall. (New York Times)
A montage in which the two basically seem to be non-stop fornicating is abruptly interrupted when the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn, in peak Ben Mendelsohn mode) drafts [Robin] into the army to fight the Moors. (Daily Beast)
His call-up papers demand that he report for the “Third Crusade in Arabia,” (as if someone were asked to report to “the first World War” in 1914). (IrishTimes)