Searching for The Most Terrible Movie Since 2014: Robin Hood

TMTM™: Robin Hood

Score: 2 armor-piercing arrows out of 10

Worldwide box office gross: $23 million

Budget: $100 million

Bechdel-Wallace Test Score: -3 if you’re being generous

On the planet where they make movies for teen boys, which is a very big-ass planet, a member of the Bro Collective pitched a war movie with handguns and automatic weapons and rebellion and an evil empire and—get this—a whole entire female. And there’s a superhero. Set in the past, sort of, so bows and arrows instead of guns and bullets! Neat, right? But don’t worry, there’s no actual history involved, ew! Boring!

Everyone will call this superhero something so clever and so cool, all the mini-bros will be talking about him at bro middle school. He is: The Hood. You heard me.

Robin Hood is described by iTunes as “adrenaline-fueled” and “scrappier, faster, and more furious” than any previous Robin Hood. It’s the upgrade no one asked for. And the ending heavily implies a sequel. Hold on, you don’t know how distressing that is yet.

After I digitally forked over (that sounds naughty, thanks a lot, The Good Place) the $5.99 to rent this thing, iTunes tossed up a dialogue box asking, “Are you sure you want to rent Robin Hood?”

No, iTunes. I’m not. I never asked for a “faster and more furious” Robin Hood. But bring it on, that’s what I’m here for.

Our hero, Robin of Locksley, lives a carefree bro-life, hanging around his manor, in which no one else seems to live. No family, no servants, no pets, no beggars asking for alms. One day, he catches Marian trying to steal one of his horses. You know, not for her, for “the people.”

Then Robin does that thing that women LOVE—he backs Marian against a wall and leans his hand against it, blocking her in, in what bro-guys apparently think is a sexy move and not harassment.

And, of course, the obligatory teaching-a-girl-a-thing which requires putting your hands on her. You know, to “correct her form.”

Cue unrelenting make-out sessions in Locksley Manor. On the steps. Against walls. Like they did in olden times when bachelors lived alone in huge manors.

But oh no—our hero is drafted to go to the Crusades! We know this because he unrolls a piece if paper headlined DRAFT NOTICE. You heard me.

Robin goes and invades Jerusalem, I guess, and it is a war zone. I don’t mean medieval war zone with burning houses and some bodies strewn about. I mean Berlin after the Allied bombing leveled the city. And—oh no!—there’s a “sniper” in a tower! Sniping with his arrows! Robin takes him out with his super aiming ability.

After Robin returns home—his lady love dating someone else and his property confiscated by the crown—his former enemy, John from the Holy Land, finds him.

By the way, Robin returns with absolutely no injuries whatsoever. No limp or anything. Not a single scar. The dude didn’t even lose weight. His face remains baby-soft.

So John wants to be buds with Robin now because Robin tried to save his son’s life. Enter Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx. Yes, he’s from the Holy Land, but he tells Robin to call him John, because Robin can’t pronounce his real name. It’s bro-funny I guess?

Oh god, there’s so much more and I can’t bear recapping this whole thing. Let me sum up a few key points.

F. Murray Abraham plays an evil cardinal who bullies the Sheriff of Nottingham. Which means, yes, we have TWO OSCAR-WINNING ACTORS in this, um, story. Anyway, turns out—I can’t believe I’m writing this—that as a child, the Sheriff, along with other boys, was sexually abused by priests. Something about “broomsticks.” Ugh. Anyway, the Sheriff hates priests and stuff but they have all the power.

The Crusades are clearly meant to mirror the Gulf War. The Sheriff of Nottingham is clearly George W. Bush. During one speech, he even says “make no mistake” and “they hate our freedom.” It’s not subtle.

John teaches Robin how to fire off arrows really, really fast, and replaces his regular bow (handgun) with a superbow (automatic weapon), saying, “You’ll need a street weapon.” The bow-as-assault rifle parallel is not subtle.

Cue TRAINING MONTAGE. YOU HEARD ME.

Eve Hewson’s eyeliner plays Marian, whose emotions range from boredom all the way to ennui.

And there’s plenty of CLEAVAGE to go around.

It’s the Middle Ages but feudalism doesn’t exist. All of the commoners work in a mine and live in a frickin’ shantytown.

Oh—Robin starts stealing from the sheriff so he can’t wage war on the commoners, which is a thing the sheriff wants to do. “Clear out” the shantytown. He doesn’t wonder who the blazes is going to do all the hard labor.

And in this, um, story, the whole stealing thing is John’s idea. Robin really isn’t bright enough to strategize. He looks good in his quilted thief vest, though!

A TON of people die. All over the place. The army breaks out riot gear at one point. There’s a specially-made closed-in carriage that’s clearly a “tank.”

There’s even a Michael Bay walk-away explosion.

You guys, my brain hurts so bad right now. Anyway, Marian, who obviously should be the one leading the people but she’s just a girl, convinces Robin to become King of the Rebellion or whatever, by saying these iconic words: “If not you, who? If not now, when?”

Well, how about you, Marian, after you guys find some real frickin’ weapons besides sticks and shovels? Oh sorry, you’re a girl. I almost forgot.

So they go do the rebellion thing, resulting in the already-mentioned killing—so much killing—and riot gear. Will Scarlett leads The People at first, but he’s very concerned about his “political future.” He was also Marian’s boyfriend until Robin came back, so he is itching for a fight.

Having failed, Robin leads The People out to live in the forest. Where, I guess, they start building houses and hunter-gathering or whatever. And… that’s when we know somebody pitched a franchise with god knows how many sequels.

Ugh, I need to go lie down and rest my brain.

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About taoreader

Writer and Editor. Pianist and singer. Feminist and proponent of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. I don't get it either. I wish I could have dinner with Marie Curie.
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8 Responses to Searching for The Most Terrible Movie Since 2014: Robin Hood

  1. gnidrah says:

    I feel like you should be able to claim a refund from someone for this, but who do we ask? Actors? Director? Maybe the whole studio!

    • taoreader says:

      iTunes maybe? There’s some entertainment in the so-bad-it’s-good category, but it’s hard to enjoy with all the allusions to the Gulf War. Especially when they’re fighting Muslims in the Middle East. Feels exploitative and racist.

  2. welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

    Whoa – this sounds more horrible than I could imagine! But thank you for an excellent review!

    Ben Mendelson is in this too? He’s so great, but I don’t think I will ever watch this one.

    I do like the quilted, hooded jacket, so I guess good job to the costume designer?

    • taoreader says:

      All of the costumes were made by hand. The designers were told to make the set and clothes 1/3 medieval, 1/3 present day, and 1/3 futuristic. It just comes off as fake, unfortunately. Too clean, dull palate. Long coat things that look like suit jackets or something.

  3. hotspur says:

    I am so stuck on the idea of a 12th-century sheriff saying, “They hate our freedom.” Can we also have him say “Ask not what your country can do for you”? And maybe Friar Tuck can describe the internet as “a series of tubes.”

    John’s battle cry can be “Pikachu!”

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