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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Friday, July 10, 2015

Movie Review - The Last of Robin Hood

The Last of Robin Hood (2014)
Starring Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon, and Dakota Fanning
Directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland

Produced by Lifetime Films, an unsurprising aire of cheapness hovers over everything in The Last of Robin Hood from the soft lighting to the corny, repetitive score.  Considering that co-directors/screenwriters Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland also brought Still Alice to the cinematic landscape in 2014, I am admittedly surprised that both films share the same helmers because they frankly couldn't be more different in terms of every aspect of cinematic quality.

Telling the true story of actor Errol Flynn's last years, The Last of Robin Hood brings us in to Flynn's romantic relationship with fifteen year-old Beverley Aadland (Dakota Fanning) whom he fell head over heels for in his final days.  Once Flynn (Kevin Kline) discovers his paramour's true age, he recognizes the need to sweet-talk Beverley's mother Florence (Susan Sarandon) who has been pushing her daughter's Hollywood dreams for more than a decade even going so far as to falsify her birth certificates.  This triangular relationship travels a rocky road with tensions always rumbling right below the surface.

With a solid cast of two Oscar winners and one well-respected young actress, I had hoped that the acting may shine, but that did not come to fruition.  Instead, Kline feels as if he's hamming it up for the camera, playing a caricaturish performance of an aging Hollywood lothario.  Not only does Sarandon give quite possibly the worst voiceover work I've ever heard as her character tells her tale to an Errol Flynn biographer, but she also brings absolutely no emotion to her scenes as the "stage mom" and her Florence feels incredibly flat and bland (a fault of the script, for sure).  Fanning fares best, but that's mainly because her character is at least the most nuanced.  That said, Fanning doesn't play anything subtle here which is incredibly unfortunate as there are times where her reactions or emotions often come off as laughable.

Frankly, I'm flabbergasted that this film was ever released in theaters.  As soon as it started, I could sense the "movie of the week" tone permeating through the cheapness of all aspects of the production and looked up online as to whether its "R-rating" was given only for its dvd release.  However, it does appear to have been a theatrical release which truly is dumbfounding.  Yes, it contains a trio of stars, but the directors and screenwriters have crafted a film that lacks any emotional connection with its characters and leaves its cast floundering in unbelievable dialog and settings (which is all the more horrible seeing as how this is based on a true story).

The RyMickey Rating:  F

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