9/29/15

ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES - REVIEW


During the late 80's/early 90's, Kevin Costner could do no wrong. So it's no surprise he was cast as Robin Hood in this 1991 blockbuster despite the actor not having an English accent in the slightest or having any interest in even attempting one.

I guess this was only a few years after we all accepted Sean Connery as an Egyptian from Spain in Highlander so an American Robin Hood probably didn't sound like too crazy of an idea.

Incidentally, Sean Connery does cameo in this movie as King Richard the Lionheart.

Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves is one of those movies that really should not work and yet does mostly thanks to the fact it's a shameless, mindless blockbuster with enough cheese and ham to entertain even the most stubborn viewer. The familiar tale of Robin Of Loxley and his gang of misfits is told without many surprises but what it lacks in unpredictability it makes up for in gusto. Kevin Reynolds' movie follows Robin's journey from prisoner to outlaw and, ultimately, legend including all the ingredients which make up a very watchable swashbuckling adventure: sword fights, romance, over-the-top villains, arrows on fire... the works.

Speaking of over-the-top villains, Alan Rickman is this film's Sheriff Of Nottingham and he ranks up the ham to 11 which, in itself, is far more entertaining than anything you'll find in that criminally dull Ridley Scott Robin Hood movie. His performance is almost indistinguishable from Roger Rees's in Mel Brooks' famous spoof Robin Hood: Men In Tights, to give you an idea. Add to that a goofy witch, Christian Slater trying out a wholly unconvincing English twang and Michael Wincott sporting a medieval goth bad guy look and you've got yourself what's basically a live-action cartoon. Luckily, you've also got the ever-reliable Morgan Freeman as Hood's Moorish friend Azeem there to bring some form of a sensible voice plus Costner doesn't overdo it (does he ever?) so even though he doesn't exactly have the natural charm of an Errol Flynn, he gives a solid performance.

The film itself looks good and is never dull even when Robin's Merry Men are just chilling in the woods. It's a silly, way too American blockbuster so don't expect any kind of realism but as basic 90's popcorn entertainment, it works. Even with that corny Bryan Adams song.

Guilty pleasure.

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