September 5, 2014 at 1:00 am

Tom Long

Review: 'Last of Robin Hood' is a tawdry tale too familiar to fly

Dakota Fanning stars as Beverly Aadland and Kevin Kline is Errol Flynn in the biographical drama 'The Last of Robin Hood.' (Quantrell D.Colbert / A+E Studios)

The film “The Last of Robin Hood” is doomed by a poor casting choice and a too-familiar tale of a pushy stage mother.

On the other hand, it does serve as a reminder of the sort of thing famous people could get away with before the Internet.

Kevin Kline gives his all portraying the scandalous movie star Errol Flynn in the last years of his life. Looking across a studio lot one day he spots a young dancer, Bev­erly Aadland (Dakota Fanning). Flynn introduces himself, takes her home and seduces her.

He then becomes obsessed with his new conquest. It’s only when he meets her mother, Florence (Susan Sarandon), that he finds out she’s a 15-year-old working under a false birth certificate. He then convinces Florence — who initially thinks Errol and Beverly are just friends — to accompany them as a chaperone.

When Beverly tells the truth to Florence, she is initially outraged. But then she reconsiders. Flynn could help Beverly’s career. And Florence is certainly enjoying the high life. Oh, what the heck — they’re in love.

And so the happy couple traipse the world. Until Flynn dies and his affair with Beverly becomes a public outrage.

All of this is apparently true — Flynn even lobbies to star in “Lolita” alongside the not terribly talented Beverly — and the sheer gall of the situation is eye-opening at times.

But true or not, the story of a damaged mother living vicariously through an offspring has been done too many times. Worse, Fanning brings no sense of sexuality to the role, no teen tease or sensuality whatever. Since it’s impossible to see what the attraction would be, the film’s emotional logic fizzles.

'The Last of Robin Hood'

GRADE: C-

Rated R for some sexuality and language

Running time: 94 minutes

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