Robin Hood details the rise of the iconic title character (Taron Egerton) and his rivalry with Ben Mendelsohn’s Sheriff of Nottingham, with the movie’s contemporary approach (a la A Knight’s Tale) ensuring that it is, at the outset, more entertaining than one might’ve anticipated. (This is particularly true of an early sequence that brings a modern-day perspective to a Crusades-set battle.) It’s a shame, then, that the picture segues into an increasingly generic and hopelessly uninvolving midsection, as filmmaker Otto Bathurst places a continuing emphasis on by-the-numbers set pieces (eg Robin is trained by his mentor) and dimly-lit, far-from-enthralling action sequences. There’s a lack of momentum here that grows more and more problematic as time slowly progresses, and there’s little doubt, as well, that the muddled narrative makes it awfully difficult to work up any interest in or sympathy for the protagonist’s perilous exploits (ie it just never feels like there’s anything concrete at stake for him). Egerton’s ongoing efforts at developing his character subsequently fall fairly flat, while the mindlessly over-the-top final stretch ensures that Robin Hood ends on as thoroughly underwhelming a note as one could envision – with the final result a misguided reimagining that’s rarely as effective or enthralling as intended.
*1/2 out of ****