Movie review: 'Robin Hood,' the '80s metal version

'Forget what you think you know,' new version of the classic tale announces up front, and then turns into a WWE entrance video

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

This is not your father's "Robin Hood," unless your father was a roadie for Metallica.

Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx in "Robin Hood."

The new retelling of the classic folk hero's tale makes up for being thoroughly unnecessary by being completely mad. The fashions are Kanye West and the pyrotechnics are pure '80s metal video in this kooky, cranked up version, which Baz Lurhmann would deem over-the-top. It may be stupid, but it's never dull.

"Robin Hood" announces its intent from the jump-off.

"Forget history, forget what you think you know, forget what you've heard before," Robin Hood ("Kingsman's" Taron Egerton) says in voiceover. So much for subtlety. Director Otto Bathurst, a TV veteran making his feature film debut, then launches into a battle sequence that's like "American Sniper" with arrows standing in for bullets, so it's clear we're not in Sherwood Forest anymore. 

Rob — that's what he goes by, because of course it is — goes about his business of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor after the tyrannical Sheriff of Nottingham (a seething Ben Mendelsohn, looking like he wandered straight off the set of "Rogue One," wardrobe and all) enslaves his town. Rob teams up with Little John (Jamie Foxx) to lead a revolution, which looks so much like today's political protests it wouldn't be surprising if a Donald Trump effigy popped up in the background.

Forget tights; Rob sports a quilted leather jacket with a hood that looks like an NBA player showing up to an arena. Silly? Sure, but so is the very idea of another "Robin Hood." If you're gonna steal from the rich, you might as well go big.    

'Robin Hood'


Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive references

Running time: 116 minutes