WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for director Otto Bathurst's Robin Hood, in theaters now.
In the new Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw and his allies are reinvented as soldiers aiming to conquer the Sheriff of Nottingham. Their not-so-simple task is to bankrupt his treasury and deplete his war fund, while redistributing the money to the poor people from which it came.
However, as this fellowship goes about its quest, using Robin's civilian identity as the lord of Loxley to dupe the Sheriff (Ben Mendelsohn) into believing he's a loyal philanthropist, a major plot hole arises. And it's one that has everything to do with this vigilante that Nottingham calls "the Hood."
Even as the Sheriff & Co. place a bounty on the Hood, all of the clues are right in front of them. Still, they remain blind to the obvious: Robin (Taron Egerton) is the man they're looking for.
It doesn't require a detective to figure this out, because the timing points to the lord of Loxley estate. When the Hood begins pillaging the town and the Sheriff attempts to deduce his identity, Friar Tuck (Tim Minchin) informs him that he can't go through with another tax increase, because Robin of Loxley is the missing vote, and he has returned from war. The Sheriff is shocked, because he thought Loxley was dead, and had therefore seized all of his assets. However, surely the Sheriff would have been informed that Loxley was sent back to England for insubordination. Also, Robin asked Tuck for privacy so he could start his movement in the shadows with John (Jamie Foxx), yet the friar still sells him out in a scene clearly meant to add drama.
What makes Tuck's reveal even more cringe-worthy is that the Sheriff, somehow, can't piece together the odd timing of Robin's homecoming, and the sudden appearance of the Hood. Anyone can clearly reconcile this is more than mere coincidence. There's a rogue archer back from Arabia and another right here in Nottingham fighting the Sheriff's oppression. It's not difficult math.
The idea that Robin isn't the Hood is even more ridiculous of the presence of John. When Robin is back home, pretending to be a happy-go-lucky young lord, he always has John at his side. That should give away Robin's secret life for a couple reasons. John is clearly a Moor, the very enemy the English are fighting across the seas.
It's crazy how no one spots him and puts the truth together; the enemy is walking in plain sight with Robin, a man who turned on the crown in Arabia. What makes this even more dumb is how John moseying around in broad daylight, basically as Loxley's Alfred, chauffeuring the lord around, and acting as his bodyguard, right in front of the Sheriff's cabal.
It comes to a head when they attempt their first daylight robbery to attract the attention of the sinister cardinal (the Sheriff's boss), where John is wearing no mask, driving through Nottingham in a getaway carriage with the Hood in the back. Again, the guards and citizens are blind, or else Bathurst only cared about plot convenience. Either way, Nottingham's folks didn't shape up to be the sharpest tools in the shed, with the Sheriff atop the list.
In theaters now, Robin Hood stars Taron Egerton as Robin, Jamie Foxx as Little John, Eve Hewson as Maid Marian, Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck, Jamie Dornan as Will Scarlet, Paul Anderson as Guy of Gisborne, Josh Herdman as Righteous, and Bjorn Bengtsson as Tydon.