Robin Hood: What You Need To Know
From Errol Flynn's dashing portrayal in the 1930s, through Disney's animated incarnation in the 1970s, to Mel Brooks' superbly silly 1990s version, Robin Hood is certainly no stranger to the big screen. With more than 70 adaptations across movies and television, the story of Nottingham's most famous outlaw has been told many times and in many ways, but a new take from the the BAFTA-winning director behind TV shows such as Hustle and Urban Gothic aims to tell the story of Robin Hood in a way quite unlike anything you've seen before.
After opening in cinemas at the tail end of last year, Robin Hood makes its arrival on DVD and Blu-ray in stores on Monday (March 25th). Here's everything you need to know...
Who's in it?
Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx lead a cast that also includes Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan and Tim Minchin.
And who's directing?
The film is a feature-length directorial debut for Otto Bathurst, whose long list of TV directing credits includes work on shows such as Peaky Blinders and Black Mirror.
What's the plot?
Robin Hood's social status varies depending on which version of the tale you're being told, but Bathurst has opted for the version which depicts him being of an aristocratic background, so in this telling we meet Robin of Loxley, a Lord who is drafted by the Sheriff of Nottingham to head overseas and fight in the Crusades.
Although loyal to the King, while in service Robin becomes disillusioned by the treatment meted out by some of his fellow soldiers to enemy prisoners. When he intervenes in order to try and stop his commander, Guy of Gisbourne, from executing a the teenaged son of a captured Arab soldier, Gisbourne decides to send Robin back home to England.
Having served in the Crusades for four years, Robin returns to discover that the Sheriff of Nottingham had him declared legally dead two years earlier, using this as a reason to seize all of Robin's assets. To make matters worse, the news of his death has resulted in Marian, the woman he loves, becoming romantically involved with Will Tillman, an aspiring community leader trying to mobilise the commoners against the corrupt sheriff.
Robin attempts to approach Marian and tell her he is still alive, with plans to confront the Sheriff, but he is stopped by the father of the boy Robin tried to save from Gisbourne's punishment, having managed to escape from imprisonment. The man introduces himself as Yayha – or John, in English – and persuades Robin not to directly confront the Sheriff. Instead, the pair hatch a plot to rob the Sheriff's treasury and redistribute the money to the poor, while Robin uses his social status to feign support for the Sheriff's cause and infiltrate his circle.
Does it deliver?
If you're looking for historical accuracy you won't find much of it in Otto Bathurst's retelling of this well-worn fable, but if you made it all the way through Guy Ritchie's King Arthur reboot without cracking up then you might well find things to like about Robin Hood too. Some good performances from Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx and Tim Minchin help to keep the film afloat and the action sequences aren't too shabby either, but the story's nebulous, ahistorical setting might be too much of a stretch for some.