Who doesn’t know and love the tale of Robin Hood? That dashing young rogue who steals from the rich, and gives to the poor? Many have played this role before, and I’m sure many will play it in years to come. This, my friends, is the Kevin Costner version from 1991.
Robin Hood, sometime during the third crusade, is prisoner of the Saracens. Being the whiley kinda guy he is, he makes an alliance with a fellow prisoner and makes a daunting action-packed escape. Our buddies then return to Robin Hood’s homeland to find much evil has passed thru, including the destruction of his family estate. They take to the woods and start in motion events that will right terrible wrongs.
Kevin Costner (Message in a Bottle, Waterworld, The Postman, Dances with Wolves) is Robin of Locksley, otherwise known as Robin Hood. Now, bash Costner all ya want, I know it’s a favorite American pastime…but I adore him. He’s cute as hell and he possesses a level of orneryness that is conveyed very well in most of his characters, this is no exception. Yeah, he had an American accent in this, but that did not distract me at all from my enjoyment of the movie.
Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy, Amistad, Unforgiven) is Azeem, fellow prisoner and now best friend to Robin. Freeman is an accomplished actor and a very good choice for this role. He gets to show off his own level of orneryness here. His dry wit adds much to this movie.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Scarface, The Abyss, Perfect Storm) is Marion, the maid who loves Robin. Mastrantonio plays the part well, as in her other work. She’s both pretty and a good actress to boot! Her passion is evident, which adds to the 4 stars I give this movie.
Alan Rickman, who most of you will recognize today as Prof. Snapes in the Harry Potter movies, plays that infamous bad guy, the evilest of all evil dudes, the Sheriff of Nottingham. I have to agree with many others that Rickman’s was the best performance of them all. He just exudes slime! That sneer is perfection. His inflection in line delivery adds to the deliciousness of this character.
Kevin Reynolds directed this medieval romp, which proved to be a great precursor to his later work on the 2002 version of The Count of Monte Cristo. Reynolds, in my opinion, is underappreciated. He asks for, and gets, top actors and top performances out those actors. His location picks are perfect for the settings.
Also, uncredited but there none the less… Do watch for Sean Connery as King Richard. Even in a short role, Connery’s presence alone can make a 3 star movie into a 4 star movie!
So why only 4 stars?
Well, because of the dratted DVD itself. Grrrrr Argh! This is the only DVD I have ever encountered that makes me actually get up off my butt half way thru the damn movie and flip it over to watch the second half. What the hell is up with that?? It is annoying, unnecessary, and detracts from the mood of the movie. No, this is not a knock off… unless Best Buy is dirty-dealing. I bought it there for about 10 bucks last spring.
Special features are the standard bare-bones fair. Trailers, subtitles in English, French, & Spanish. The only real extra is the production notes. Not even so much as a director’s commentary.
Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves runs 143 minutes, and is Rated PG-13. I have zero issues with kids of any age watching this movie.
So. Even though the DVD is infuriating, the movie is worth the effort. The scenery is well-picked, the story-line excellent, and the acting is great. I do recommend this to kids at heart, action buffs, and medieval collectors… just don’t get real comfy on the couch, you do have to get up and flip the darn thing.