Uxbridge Gazette - - Film Reviews -

THE men are far from merry in direc­tor Otto Bathurst’s gung-ho ac­tion ad­ven­ture, which can­ters through the blood-soaked ori­gins of the English folk hero be­fore he gives se­ri­ous thought to rid­ing through glens or steal­ing from the rich.

“For­get what you think you know. This is no bed­time story,” booms a su­per­flu­ous voiceover nar­ra­tion which ac­com­pa­nies the der­ring-do on horse­back and dare­devil ac­ro­bat­ics in a by­gone Not­ting­ham torn apart by the un­holy union of state and church.

Ac­tion set pieces are rem­i­nis­cent of the As­sas­sin’s Creed video games, em­ploy­ing slow-mo­tion to ex­cess as lead­ing man Taron Eger­ton per­forms bone-crunch­ing som­er­saults while fir­ing ar­rows with his trusty bow.

Bathurst de­liv­ers de­cent thrills with these high-tempo se­quences in­clud­ing a breath­less chase in horse­drawn carts chore­ographed to re­sem­ble the char­iot race from Ben-Hur, and the ex­plo­sive theft of the Sher­iff of Not­ting­ham’s war taxes.

Away from the testos­terone­fu­elled de­struc­tion, Ben Chan­dler and David James Kelly’s script al­lows Eger­ton to re­cy­cle his charm and swag­ger from the Kings­man films while co-star Ben Men­del­sohn em­braces the pantomime sea­son as a suit­ably slip­pery Sher­iff of Not­ting­ham.

Tim Minchin at­tempts to pro­vide comic re­lief as Friar Tuck but there are few op­por­tu­ni­ties to play for gen­uine laughs.

The Sher­iff of Not­ting­ham (Men­del­sohn) is­sues a draft no­tice to Lord Robin of Lox­ley (Eger­ton) to fight in the Cru­sades in Ara­bia.

Dur­ing four gru­elling years away from his sweet­heart Mar­ian (Eve Hew­son), Robin is bat­tle-hard­ened by his ex­pe­ri­ences wield­ing a bow and ar­rows un­der Com­man­der Guy Gis­bourne (Paul An­der­son).

He wit­nesses bru­tal­ity per­pe­trated by the English against en­emy pris­on­ers and Robin de­fies his com­rades to pro­tect a Moor called John (Jamie Foxx), whose son is tor­tured by Gis­bourne’s un­der­lings.

Robin re­turns to Not­ting­ham in dis­grace and learns that the Sher­iff has falsely re­ported his death and seized his as­sets.

A grief-stricken Mar­ian is now in the arms of im­pas­sioned com­mu­nity leader Will Till­man (Jamie Dor­nan), who speaks on be­half of the com­mon folk in their dis­putes against the Sher­iff.

Heart­bro­ken and en­raged by the hand that fate has dealt him, Robin trains with John to over­throw the Sher­iff, whose war taxes have im­pacted the poor­est in so­ci­ety. ★★★★★

TONGUE-IN-CHEEK spin-off from the DC Comics uni­verse. The Teen Ti­tans – Robin (voiced by Scott Menville), Starfire (Hyn­den Walch), Cy­borg (Khary Pay­ton), Beast Boy (Greg Cipes) and Raven (Tara Strong) – pa­trol Jump City. When the wannabes fail to van­quish Bal­loon Man (Greg Davies), Su­per­man (Ni­co­las Cage), Won­der Wo­man (Halsey) and The Green Lantern (Lil’ Yachty) in­ter­vene. When Robin learns that Al­fred the but­ler, the Bat­mo­bile and even Bat­man’s util­ity belt will be cen­tral char­ac­ters in Hol­ly­wood films, the Teen Ti­tans de­cide they need a neme­sis. Masked thief Slade (Will Ar­nett) fits the bill.

■ Down­load/stream and avail­able on DVD from Novem­ber 26.

Ben Men­del­sohn as The Sher­iff of Not­ting­ham Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck Taron Eger­ton as Robin Hood

Teen Titan Robin

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