Monday, December 18, 2017
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Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' feels too small screen

The Last of Robin Hood (R) (94 min.) — The wicked ways of Hollywood legend Errol Flynn could fill a few movies of varying tones, all of which co-writers and directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland try cramming into one. Focused on Flynn's final fling, with a 15-year-old starlet, the movie veers between disapproval, farce and something uncomfortably close to envy, with a trio of game performances barely holding things together.

Kevin Kline is a perfect choice to play Flynn, after aping his debonair air countless times before. At age 66, Kline is 16 years older than Flynn when he died but that works, since Flynn's voracious sexual habits and substance abuse — only hinted here — prematurely aged him. The object of Flynn's desire is Beverly Aadland (Dakota Fanning), a lovely but talentless ingenue living out the stardom dream of her enabling mother Florence (Susan Sarandon). It's a toxic triangle that never quite ignites, with the movie's tame approach to this material.

The Last of Robin Hood is the first theatrical release produced by the Lifetime and A&E television channels, and that small screen mentality shows. Glatzer and Westmoreland write dialogue that explains more than it expresses, and the set design's artificiality can't withstand the additional scope. The framing, rhythm and reticence of The Last of Robin Hood suggests only commercial television, where it should be soon. C- (Sundial 19 in St. Petersburg, Tampa Theatre)

Steve Persall, Times movie critic

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