13th Nov2018

‘Robin Hood: The Rebellion’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Ben Freeman, Brian Blessed, James Oliver Wheatley, Martyn Ford, Gareth David-Lloyd, Kristian Nairn, Charlie Hiett, Phill Martin, Marie Everett, James Groom, Jamie Kenna, James G. Nunn | Written and Directed by Nicholas Winter

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After Maid Marian is kidnapped by the Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood must get a band of men together in order to save her. Many are reluctant, given that they are massively outnumbered by the Sheriff’s forces – but those that do join Robin will stop at nothing to defeat the bloodthirsty tyrant. Together, they hatch an audacious plan to penetrate the depths of the Sheriff’s castle and reclaim Robin’s true love.

The first thing that springs to mind, literally, when Robin Hood: The Rebellion starts is do we really need that much on-screen exposition for a film about Robin Hood? After all, we seem to get a new story of this English folklore legend every few months – well at least it seems that frequent! To have to go into so much detail in a title card seems utterly redundant.

But that’s this film to a tee. Utterly redundant. It doesn’t have the budget to tell its story convincingly; it doesn’t have a convincing story; and it does tell us the all-too familiar story in any really new way.

So why did I even give Robin Hood: The Rebellion a go? Well I got duped that synopsis… Maid Marian gets kidnapped and Robin has to go and rescue her. OK. Then there were some mentions of how this took inspiration from The Raid. OK! So a resuce mission with shades of The Raid? I’m all up for that. But that is NOT what we get here. Instead we get a TV-quality production that seemingly had the budget of an episode of UK soap opera Crossroads in its 80s “heyday;” and the production is about as good as Crossroads’ ever was too! Actors yell their lines, they fumble over the slightest tricky stunt… Hell the sword work cuts to slow-mo at times just to hide the fact none of this cast can actually handle the weapon with any grace or style.

Watching Robin Hood: The Rebellion is like watching a late-night European no-budget TV movie that never made it to series. To that regard, if I tell you this is WORSE than Crossbow, the William Tell-based show that was made in France and aired around 3am on local ITV stations in the very early 90s, that should give you some idea of how bad this film is. And if you haven’t seen Crossbow (aka The Adventures of William Tell), check this out.

For all the complaints about the forthcoming Taron Egerton starringn Robin Hood film there’s absolutely no way it could be as bad as this. Speaking of which the fact that Robin Hood exists HAS to be the only reason this one does… There’s no way this was conceived as anything other than a cheap and nasty cash-in on the upcoming Hollywood blockbuster, designed to dupe unsuspecting supermarket shoppers into picking this one up by mistake while doing their weekly shop.

Robin Hood: The Rebellion is out on DVD now from Signature Entertainment. Though it’ll probably be on a streaming service for free next week… it’s that bad.

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