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'Robin Hood' review: Not dressed for success

Clothes don't make the man or the movie in this retold folk tale of a wealthy English lord

Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx appear in a

Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx appear in a scene from "Robin Hood." Photo Credit: Lionsgate Films/Larry Horricks

PLOT In Nottingham, England, a wealthy lord begins to fight for the poor.

CAST Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Eve Hewson

RATED PG-13 (strong violence)

LENGTH 1:56

BOTTOM LINE Ever seen costumes so weird they wreck an entire movie? Here you go. 

Something looks odd in “Robin Hood,” Otto Bathurst’s adaptation of the English folk tale. We can tell this is a “stylistic” take on a familiar story, like Guy Ritchie’s saucy “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” or the bloodied-up Jane Austen romance “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” The conceptual twist isn’t immediately apparent, but wait — is that a fleece interior to Robin’s nylon jacket? Are those white Vibram soles on the Sheriff of Nottingham’s boots?

Yes, by God, it’s — corporate retail Robin Hood!

Call it “Robin Hoodie,” an old-fashioned swashbuckling adventure that appears to be sponsored by a Simon mall. Not the entire time — for the most part, the guards wear period-appropriate metal helmets, the Cardinal (F. Murray Abraham) wears the usual opulent robes, and so on. Then, all of a sudden, someone shows up in what looks like a Kenneth Cole walking coat. It’s the weirdest dang combination of bows and arrows and Abercrombie and Fitch.

“I would tell you what year it was, but I can’t actually remember,” says our unhelpful narrator, setting the stage for a tale that, fashion-wise, takes place sometime between the drafting of the Magna Carta and the rise of jogger pants. Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) is a wealthy lord drafted into the crusades against Persia, where the crossbows fire like automatics and the soldiers move smoothly through buildings like SEAL Team 6. Disgusted by the brutality of his colleagues, Robin saves the life of a ferocious but noble Moor, Yahya, and ends up with a loyal friend.

Yahya’s name translates to English as John, and he’s played by Jamie Foxx with facial scarring, a slight American accent and, occasionally, a henley. He and Robin devise a plan to rob the Sheriff (Ben Mendelsohn, in a wondrous pleather trench coat). And if you’re wondering about Marian (Eve Hewson), she turns out to be a member of ye olde Antifa — local villagers who wear face-bandannas and toss Molotov cocktails at the troops.

If you think I’m making too big a deal about the clothes, you need to see how Bathurst’s camera lingers lovingly on a machine-stitched collar, an appliqué bondage-buckle, a pair of “Thriller”-era shoulder pads. (The film’s costume designer is Julian Day). When Robin finally rallies the rabble, the first to bellow “I’m with you!” is a young dude in a streetwear skullcap.

How’s the rest of the movie? Packed with action (the rooftop horse chase is rather good) but somehow boring. A sequel seems planned, because the film ends with a new Sheriff of Nottingham. And darned if he isn’t wearing that same pleather coat.

ROBIN HOOD (1/2 star)

PLOT In Nottingham, England, a wealthy lord begins to fight for the poor.

CAST Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Eve Hewson

RATED PG-13 (strong violence)

LENGTH 1:56

BOTTOM LINE Ever seen costumes so weird they wreck an entire movie? Here you go.

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