By Katie Walsh

Tribune News Service

“Robin Hood”

116 minutes

Rating: PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive references

Every generation gets the Robin Hood it deserves, and the 2018 “Robin Hood” is sleek, modern and retrofitted for a radical political landscape. Take in that Shepard Fairey-inspired wanted poster, the woodcut-style closing credits sequence rendered in Constructivist shades of red and black, our masked, hooded hero hurling Molotov cocktails, and you just might wonder: “Is Robin Hood antifa?”

But Robin Hood has always been anti-fascist, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, living with his pals in Sherwood Forest while battling against the tyrannical Sheriff of Nottingham and disrupting abusive systems of power. He’s the very definition of a radical leftist activist. The new iteration maintains the medieval setting while bringing the classic story to a contemporary thematic landscape.

Played by the beguiling Welsh actor Taron Egerton, this Robin Hood is younger than most actors who have taken the hood, suited in trim quilted leather and minimalist robes, sporting a clean, sharp ’do. He also has a traumatic backstory, having been conscripted to fight in the Crusades, taken from his land and love, Marian (Eve Hewson). The holy war gets the modern treatment, as soldiers engage in guerrilla street warfare against their enemies. It’s in battle that Robin meets his best ally, who starts as an enemy. Jamie Foxx plays a Moor warrior who stows away to England to enact revenge for his son’s death and engages Robin to help him do it.

The second half of the film loses the energy as John fades to the background while Robin, Marian and a love rival, Will (Jamie Dornan), struggle for control of a jumbled uprising.

It is certainly visually striking, though the story loses steam. And while it plays fast and loose with loaded political iconography, this “Robin Hood” has brought a whole new dimension to this age-old tale.

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