Kevin Kline as Errol Flynn is almost no-brainer casting. He’s got the look and can be as suave as anyone on screen. It’s too bad that the script gives him almost nothing to do.
The Last of Robin Hood focuses on the last 2 years of Flynn’s life, when the famous ladies’ man met and started romancing a young aspiring actress named Beverly Aadland (Dakota Fanning). Aadland was 17 at the time and the two kept the romance a secret until several months before his death.
The whole affair, spurned along and encouraged by her fame-seeking mother, Florence (Susan Sarandon), seems a bit tame today but was all over the news back in 1959.
The film is more about Beverly and her mother, with Flynn as an almost secondary character. That would be a smart move if they were written better. In fact, everything about the film feels like it’s only operating on the surface. The film feels detached and emotionless, with the directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland only hitting the talking points of the relationship. Directors have to like their subjects – it certainly doesn’t feel like they did here.
This is old Hollywood but we never really see it. Everything takes place in rooms or backyards or sets. It’s not open and we don’t see or feel any of that old-school glamor. I’m sure the budget has something to do with that but if audiences come to see a movie about the late, great Errol Flynn, they want to see that glitz.
The film portrays Flynn as old, yet he was only 50 when he died. Was 50 that old back then?
After Flynn dies (I’m not giving anything away here), the film really does drag. I never once cared for or even found Beverly or Florence them interesting. Yet, we spend another 15 minutes with them. They’re minor footnotes in Hollywood history!
The only reason to see this is because of Kline. I just wish he had something more in-depth to play.
All that aside, here is one of my favorite lines in the film: “Errol Flynn is a walking penis.”
Writer/Director: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland
Cast: Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon, Dakota Fanning