Nicholas Winter (director)
05 November 2018 (released)
05 November 2018
This sad excuse of a medieval ‘action movie’ may have worked as an interactive computer game (emphasis on may have) but as it stands, this is one rebellion hardly worth writing home about!
Yep, another Robin Hood movie and this one has got to rank among the worst for many reasons, but one reason will do: a serious lack of budget (hence the consequent lack of location work)! And perhaps also a lacklustre script! And mediocre acting ‘talent’… oh, I could go on - but why bother?
In a nutshell: Robin Hood (Ben Freeman – EMMERDALE) and his not so merry men are sick of playing underdog to the nasty Sheriff of Nottingham (James Oliver Wheatley), in fact the entire starving peasant population are sick of being treated worse than vermin but hey, we all know why Robin Hood started his rebellion against the tyrants in (what is supposed to be) Nottingham Castle, right? Wrong! The main motivation here is the kidnapping of Maid Marian (Marie Everett) although this Marian is anything but a damsel in distress… au contraire it’s fair to say she’s just as swift and handy with sword as her paramour Robin. Nonetheless, after a confrontation with Guy of Gisborne (James Groom) and his henchmen in the woods, Maid Marian gets kidnapped. Gisborne and some of his men appear to have been shot with arrows while Robin and his men rob them of their uniforms (if you can call it that) in order to infiltrate the castle… in order to free the captured Marian and fellow freedom fighter Much (Charlie Hiett). Which brings us to the first, and only, change in location for after having left the forest behind them Robin and his army of rabble rousers (make that three or four men!) manage to gain entrance to the castle, disguised in stolen uniforms. The remainder of the movie takes places entirely inside the castle walls though it’s a castle as you’ve never seen it before: full of murky and dimly lit corridors and secret labyrinths – no opulent splendour or come to it, not much staff either except a few hapless kitchen maids. Equally noticeable is the apparent lack of soldiers. As for the Sheriff of Nottingham, ah yes, he is of course the sadist we all know him to be but unlike other actors who portrayed him in previous movies, James Oliver Wheatley’s Sheriff is merely one-dimensional: all nasty tyrant and no sense of humour or acerbic wit – surely even the Sheriff of Nottingham ought to have his lighter moments?
As the fight (a couple of men swinging their blades) inside the castle goes on, a naked and humiliated Guy of Gisborne appears outside the castle walls having difficulties to gain entrance. In fact during the next hour or so he gets wounded time and time again yet keeps on fighting no matter how implausible the scenario until… Or could it be that he got bumped off because his hairstyle is way too modern for a story supposedly taking place in the 13th century? Slightly more fearful is Brimstone, a giant of a fighting machine in the Sheriff’s employ, though what’s this? Brimstone is played by professional bodybuilder Martyn Ford, complete with countless tribal tattoos which seem to grace the most part of his body, neck and scalp. Strange, yours truly never knew that tribal tattoos were around in medieval Britain! Hey you learn something new every day!
Will Robin manage to save the day? And his dame? Quite frankly, who cares. It’s all the more annoying seeing how the only true star in this waste of celluloid, Brian Blessed OBE no less, has a miserly 2-min appearance as blind Friar Tuck, which makes you wonder what prompted him to get involved to begin with!