Taron Egerton as the newest Robin Hood

There is one thing that the new iteration of “Robin Hood” does better than anything I’ve seen this year. Its opening scene immediately, and effectively, sets up the thesis for the rest of the film to come. And the film that is to come is terrible.

“Forget history, forget what you believe, forget what you know,” we’re urged by the hooded crusader himself. Except, he is not the Robin Hood of legend at the beginning of the film. He is, instead, a young, somewhat pugnacious, rich rascal. He’s drafted to fight in the Crusades and returns home a changed man, ready to…Well, I’m not quite sure actually because the film itself isn’t quite sure. The opening sets the film up as different from the tired old history, as a new and improved and much more eclectic “Robin Hood” and although it falters on the improvement quotient, it is definitely different. “Robin Hood” riffs on a number of genres and a number of films but the amalgamation of things that constitute its two-hour runtime are wholly its own. There’s nothing quite like it. Nothing could quite have prepared me for it. And nothing could have prepared me for my visceral dislike…..

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