The Last of Robin Hood
The Adventures of Robin Hood Trailer
The Last of Robin Hood
Directors: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Writers: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Cast: Kevin Kline, Dakota Fanning, Susan Sarandon, Sean Flynn, Max Casella, Bryan Batt, Patrick St. Esprit, Matt Kane, Jane McNeill, Ben Winchell, Judd Lormand, Kelly O'Neal, Emily Marie Palmer, Ric Reitz, Kurt Krause
Synopsis: Based on the true story of how Beverly Aadland, a fifteen year old starlet, became the last known girlfriend of iconic actor, Errol Flynn, who was in his late forties when they met. Some of you might remember him from such roles like "The Adventures of Robin Hood", "Captain Blood" and etc. However, this latest biopic depicts the last days of the iconic actor, as he dies at the ripe age of fifty.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some sexuality and language
Beverly Aadland dances with Groucho Marx
7 / 10
- The film moved at a good pace
- Cinematography wasn't that bad
- Kevin Kline does an excellent job capturing the nuances and mannerisms of one of Hollywood's most iconic legends, while putting his own spin on the character.
- Susan Sarandon does a great job in this as well, as she provides the emotional anchor this film needed.
- Dakota Fanning plays her part rather well; in spite of how poorly written her character is.
- The love story felt a bit one sided because we never learn why Beverly fell in love with Errol; outside of the implied notion of she's a naive teenager that gets swept up by his charms.
- Beverly Aadland was poorly developed, due to the real life Beverly wanting nothing to do with the biographical book this film is based on. Don't get me wrong, I can understand why she wouldn't want to contribute to the book, but it hurts the film greatly considering it would've been a lot more deeper if we had known exactly who she was a character.
As the film stands on it's own, you really only know her from her mom's perspective of her; hence it limits the emotional impact this story could have delivered.
Errol Flynn lived his life recklessly and dangerously, but he was also one of Hollywood's most complex actors that ever lived.
Although I wasn't alive to witness Errol Flynn's time, it has been said that he was one of Hollywood's biggest giants back in the golden era of cinema. Some people remember Errol Flynn (Kevin Kline) as one of Hollywood's most iconic actors that was known mostly for his action adventure type roles like Robin Hood for instance; while others will say he was a womanizer, rapist, alcoholic, drug addict, eccentric, pedophile and etc. However, in spite of what anyone says, there's one thing that I'm sure most people cannot dispute. There will never be another actor quite like Errol Flynn.
"The Last of Robin Hood" focuses on Errol's last relationship before he died, where he pursued a forbidden romance with a fifteen year old girl named Beverly Aadland (Dakota Fanning), who happened to be an aspiring young actress herself. The film goes on to chronicle their relationship from it's humble beginning all the way up to his untimely death. After he dies, the film also covers what Beverly and her mom had to go through, but it's never explained in much detail for us to ever feel the emotional weight of what truly happened. However, I'll delve more into that a bit later in this review.
If you're one of these Hollywood history buffs, then you'll be a bit disappointed that this film doesn't cover everything in Errol's life.
For instance, the many scandalous affairs and ex wives, before Beverly came along, are lightly glossed over in this picture. Plus, it never brings up his aspirations for being a writer, nor does it delve into Errol's growing frustrations of being typed cast mostly in action adventure roles throughout most of his career. Minus a few scenes, Errol's financial debt is rarely ever talked about in this feature.
No, "The Last of Robin Hood" mainly focuses on the forbidden relationship between him and Beverly. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad thing for that to be the main focus of the film, but it's poorly carried out because we never get a sense of who Beverly Aadland was as a character. We never learn why she fell madly in love with Errol Flynn to begin with, nor does the film ever explain the full nature of their relationship.
Obviously, you know they're having sex, as there's even a few scenes that either heavily imply they just did it, or you have the defloration scene where they show them having sex. Although I wouldn't let that bother you, as they don't show you any nudity during that scene, but it's freaking obvious they're having sex. Hell, anyone with half a brain can see that Errol Flynn is completely infatuated with this young girl, but we never learn how much she loves him. Sure, it's implied heavily that she cares about him, and we see her crying for him when he dies. And, it's said throughout this film that Errol was her first love, but I tend to question how much did she love him based on a few scenes from this film.
Maybe I'm over thinking these scenes, but it doesn't add up to be honest. In the second act of the film, Errol takes Beverly to star in a movie that's being shot in Cuba. During production, she meets a young boy around her age that starts flirting with her, and she flirts with him back. Errol gets jealous. They get into an argument about it. And in a later scene, she rides off with the young man that flirted with her. It's never said exactly what they did after she left with him, but we do know that she comes back to make up with Errol. Granted, I know some people will say she probably didn't do anything with the guy, and she was only hanging out with the young man, as a friend. Fair enough.
However, even after he dies, one of the very first things she does is go off to a party with some young guys around her age that involve a lot of drugs, while her mom tries to bring her home. My only question is what the hell happened at that party? Did she sleep with them? Were they very close friend of hers? It just doesn't add up.
Granted, I know this film was based on a book that Florence Aadland (Susan Sarandon) published to get her side of the story out there, when media was making up lies about her daughter being a glorified whore. And according to the film, Beverly wanted no part of the novel, so we never hear her side of the story; outside of her mom telling us what she believes is Beverly's side of things.
This is where the movie falls apart because we never get a sense of who Beverly is as a character. One moment, she comes off as the innocent little school girl yearning for stardom, while becoming infatuated by Errol's deviant charms. Yet in another moment, she can come off being a bit rebellious towards her elders; even towards Errol himself, as I explained earlier with that one scene.
And since we never know why she fell in love with Errol to begin with, the romance between them comes off as a bit one sided. If anything, it feels like I'm watching a creepy pedophile having an affair with some naive underage school girl that I barely know. This is the film's entire problem with it's love story. Since you never grasp who Beverly is as a character, you never grow to care about her or her entire relationship with Errol.
Sure, it sucks that her first love died on her. Yes, it's horrible how the media made her out to be some tramp, but none of that really matters if the film doesn't give us a reason to care about her as a character. Sadly, I feel like Beverly's lack of involvement hurt this movie greatly because if we had known a bit more about her side of the story, then this movie might've been a tragic love story for the ages.
And when you consider the fact that the film briefly glosses over Errol's financial debts and drug problems, the audience never feels the emotional weight behind Errol's death. How did Beverly feel about Errol's drug habits? Did she know about his financial problems? If so, then how did she feel about it? You see. This is the entire damn problem with "The Last of Robin Hood." Since the film itself never takes the time to address any of these issues, you never get a sense of how tragic Errol's death was; which is kind of sad because there was a great possibility to tell a great tragic love story here. Don't get me wrong, I thought the direction for this film was fairly decent, but the script leaves a lot to be desired. However, that's not to say that "The Last Robin Hood" doesn't have a few good things going for it.
Kevin Kline seems to do a wonderful job capturing many of the mannerisms and nuances of Errol Flynn, while adding his own take on the iconic actor. While I hesitate to call this his best performance, you can tell Kevin Kline puts a lot of effort into this role. Susan Sarandon was great in this movie, as she provides the strong emotional anchor this film needed to be somewhat decent.
Plus, I have to admit Dakota Fanning wasn't half bad either. Granted, her character wasn't written particularly well, but she still manages to put in a solid performance; in spite of how lousy her character was portrayed.
Overall, I wouldn't call "The Last Robin Hood" a bad film per say, nor would I call it a great one either. At best, I would say it's about average. Definitely worth checking out on DVD/Blue Ray if you're into Hollywood history, but I wouldn't bother wasting your money to see this in theaters.
The Last of Robin Hood Trailer
© 2014 Steven Daniels