Robin Hood has been done to death, Kevin Costner had a crack at it in Prince of Thieves (1991), Mel Brooks sent it up with Men in Tights (1993) and Ridley Scott directed the gritty remake starring Russell Crowe in 2010.
Heck, Errol Flynn became a household name because of Robin Hood.
Maybe the critics are a bit over it all and have decided to give this version a great big spanking, but perhaps the younger viewers of today should have the opportunity to decide what they think of this reimagining for themselves.
In fact, I think this version has just as much to say about all that is wrong with the world today, as much as the previous stories gave the poor and down trodden a sense of hope and justice for all.
Robbing the rich to give to the poor is still the main vein of this story, but this version is a bit more hyped up, a bit grittier and, well, more action-centric with a young spunky cast that today’s audience can ogle while they munch away on their popcorn.
Having said that, the visuals on offer are certainly exciting, however there is quite a bit of that annoying jittery camera shake that makes it all too difficult to really keep up, leaving you with a little bit of eye strain.
Not to mention they seem to have pumped the audio up to the maximum level of ear blasting which left this reviewer’s ears ringing for at least an hour afterwards.
Our Robin Hood is played by the up and coming English action actor Taron Egerton, who apparently put in the hard yards to train to jump about and use a bow and arrow on moving targets, which alone is pretty darn impressive.
Jamie Foxx has come out of the wood work to play an odd hybrid character of Little John and Akeem (think Prince of Thieves version), who meets Robin fighting the Arabs in the Crusades under harsh and emotional circumstances.
Following tradition, upon returning to England Robin discovers the ever-so naughty Sherriff of Nottingham (played by Aussie Ben Mendelsohn) has snatched his lands and property and is generally taxing the locals to death for his nefarious endeavours.
Another Aussie lends his credentials to the film by way of Tim Minchin as a very natural Friar Tuck, and that man can do no wrong.
Alongside the blistering action scenes there is much social commentary to be had, and it is not veiled in any way shape or form.
Capitalism gets its eye poked and the all-powerful church gets a bit of a whack here and there too, and in the end the good guy gets the girl and the people get their hero.
But they are left with a new nemesis that is supposed to lead onto further films in a new Robin Hood universe – the makers are crossing all things they can create, if only this first film gets universally loved.
I have hope, but sadly, I won’t hold my breath.
Robin Hood is the hero today really does need, but unfortunately may disappear behind easier films to digest.