The Errol Flynn biography "The Last of Robin Hood" has a couple of big problems to overcome. One is more forgivable than the other.
The Errol Flynn biography “The Last of Robin Hood” has a couple of big problems to overcome. One is more forgivable than the other.
The first is the casting of cloying-child-actress-turned-cloying-adult-actress Dakota Fanning as the actor’s much younger lover in the final days of his life.
The second and more glaring is the film’s attempt to gloss over Flynn’s actions as a love story between a man pushing 50 and a girl who is 15.
Conversely, the reason this doesn’t play as creepy as it should is Kevin Kline’s performance as Flynn. He’s quite charming and plays up the actor’s famed swagger.
Co-writers/director Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland tend to whitewash this central relationship as a romance, not an act of predation. The moral confusion deepens with the tacit approval of the girl’s mother, played by Susan Sarandon.
Perhaps some of this could have been offset with a stronger performance in the lead. Fanning still feels so textbook as an actress, and you never lose her in the character.
With warm and glowing colors, “Robin Hood” feels like a throwback to the late ’50s era it depicts. Unfortunately, this also goes for its judgment of the supposed love story it depicts.