"Mindless, Murky Mess"
What You Need To Know:
ROBIN HOOD (2018) is fairly straightforward, but its plot becomes messy, confusing and silly. The Muslim soldier is sometimes more heroic and stronger than the titular hero. Also, the movie’s worldview is mixed. It contains brief nods to God and faith but also has some Anti-Christian, pro-Muslim elements that distort history and warp the traditional story of Robin Hood. Media-wise viewers and moviegoers looking for a rousing, uplifting adventure story will not find it in this ROBIN HOOD. It’s a mindless, murky, unsatisfying mess.
We seriously doubt if anyone was clamoring for another version of the Robin Hood story, but especially not for something like this forgettable revisionist mashup starring a couple young actors as Robin and Maid Marian, with Jamie Foxx playing a Muslim confidant of “the Hood.”
The ROBIN HOOD (2018) movie opens with Robin of Loxley meeting Marian and the two falling in love. Then, the evil Sheriff of Nottingham drafts Robin to fight in the Crusades against the “Arabians.” Four years later, Robin returns to find the Sheriff oppressing the people and taxing them to pay for his war against the Muslims.
Back in Arabia, Robin had tried to save the life of the son of a Muslim soldier from the executioner’s block, but failed. The Muslim father secretly follows Robin back to England. He encourages Robin to fight the Sheriff, who’s in cahoots with an evil Cardinal of the Church to take over England. He also advises Robin to pretend to be the Sheriff’s friend during the day while Robin poses as a thief during the night stealing back the people’s tax money from the Sheriff.
The plot to ROBIN HOOD is fairly straightforward until about midway through, when it becomes confusing. The action improves a little bit, however, as the story rolls along. The ending, though, becomes rather silly, awkwardly setting viewers up for a possible sequel. The silliest thing about the ending is the revelation that the Cardinal and the Sheriff are actually conspiring with an Arabian general. This revelation is tossed out nonchalantly and never really explained. We guess viewers will just have to wait for the sequel, if, of course, they manage to sit through this mess.
The most annoying thing about the movie, however, is how it messes with the traditional story of Robin Hood, including how it messes with history. A voiceover urges viewers to forget everything else they’ve seen or heard, claiming that people are about to hear the real story. For example, although the movie makes it clear that this Robin Hood has some basic sense of right and wrong, the movie’s first half asserts that Robin needs the help of the Muslim soldier to really know right from wrong. In fact, he even has to learn from the Muslim how to shoot arrows faster and better!!! In effect, the movie makes the Muslim soldier more heroic and more wise than the title character. Clearly, the filmmakers don’t know what they’re doing.
In addition, the movie has a revisionist view of the Crusades. It depicts the Crusades as a scam to gain power and wealth, in this case a scam by a corrupt Cardinal and his stooge, the Sheriff of Nottingham. Nothing is mentioned about one of the biggest reasons for the Crusades, 400 years of violent Muslim attacks on Christian settlements, cities and pilgrims to the Holy land since the alleged death of Mohammed in 632 A.D. The movie even has a line by the Sheriff that mocks current campaigns against Radical Islamic Terrorism and Islamic invasions of peaceful Western countries. Muslims are really nice guys, the movie argues.
ROBIN HOOD (2018) also contains some offensive Anti-Christian, humanist content. For example, the evil Cardinal says the Church created fear to keep people in line. When Friar Tuck brings up the idea of “turn the other cheek,” the Cardinal and his sycophants briefly mock him. Eventually, the Cardinal defrocks Friar Tuck, and Tuck says later that it’s the best thing that ever happened to him because it’s liberating!
That said, there are a couple positive mentions of God and faith. However, Jesus isn’t mentioned, though there’s an abundance of images of the Cross. These images are mostly associated with the bad guys, which is pretty obnoxious when you think about it. In addition, the god that the movie seems to promote appears to be a vague generic deity that includes some Christian sentiments and some Muslim sentiments. Thus, while Friar Tuck mentions turning the other cheek, Robin’s Muslim mentor mentions Allah a couple times using Arabic phrases. This vague idea of a benevolent god is contrasted overtly to the Sheriff, who’s depicted as a misguided, embittered, nihilistic atheist in the movie.
In addition to all this, ROBIN HOOD (2018) inserts a politically correct theme that seems to promote a socialist worldview. For example, the Sheriff of Nottingham is associated with the wealthy class in the town, who are portrayed as an idle class that oppresses the working poor. Also, the Muslim soldier makes a comment at one point about war profiteering and oppression down through the ages.
By making all these changes to the traditional story of Robin and his merry men, ROBIN HOOD (2018) distorts the original story’s spirit. The confusion over the true motives of the Cardinal and the Sheriff doesn’t help.