Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

It was a hard choice choosing between this and the Disney version, which I absolutely adore.  I haven’t seen this film in many years, but as a kid, I used to own this own this on VHS.  It was a hunter green case.  Yeah, I remember the important stuff.  I also remember the NES video game and how bad I was at it.  Whether I sucked or whether it was just plain difficult, I don’t know.

Basically, this is the Robin Hood story that everybody knows.  Seriously, if you don’t know it, maybe you should go read or watch any number of films done on the story.  Screw it, just watch the Disney version.

Things that you should really know when watching this.  Kevin Costner may have been one of the 5 biggest actors at the time, and he was in the midst of a huge run of blockbusters and great films.  Morgan Freeman looks young and was in great shape here.  Christian Slater was a big name at the time.  At least top 20 actors at the time for name value.  The great Alan Rickman plays the Sheriff of Nottingham, and he is great as usual.  Finally, there is Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, who plays the lovely Marian, and was also Ed Harris’ wife in The Abyss.  So this was stacked at the time.  Then you add Bryan Adams to the soundtrack, man.  They nailed it.  One final note, the guy who plays Guy of Gisborne was also the main bad guy in The Crow.  You’re welcome.

This movie is cheesy as hell.  Man, I loved it as a kid, and I still love it, but it has aged.  Costner really never strikes me as a Robin Hood.  Like Rickman, despite being over the top, he comes off like a total dickhead.  Morgan feels right in his role.  I still am unsure about Christian Slater’s role as well.  I always wondered why it wasn’t bigger.  The thing is, I like Kevin Costner in a lot of things, I like his style.  This seems like a poor match.  I kept wondering how this would be if Nic Cage ever played Robin Hood.  This worked better in 1991 than it does today.

I know the romance is supposed to come from the Robin and Marian thing, like that is the big thing.  In my mind though, if anything, I felt they did a far superior job with Little John and Fanny’s romance.  They seemed very happy to be together, they had a baby during the film, they had the cute moment sitting next to each other before the hanging, the dramatic scene where she was trapped in the flaming tree, and their son was about to be hung.  I felt that was where the better romance lied.  Well, that and Friar’s love of booze.

Overall, I just can’t give this a 7.  I will give it a 6.99 with a clear conscience.  I feel that this was supposed to feel bigger than it really was.  I liked it, I will probably always like it, BUT for 2 and a half hours, man.  I also gotta say, I didn’t care much for Marian’s portrayal here.  You get such great performances from John, Fanny, Friar, and the Sheriff, and good performances from Guy and Azeem.  Then you have Robin, Marian, and Will and they are meh.  I’m just trying to be objective here.  Let’s face it, you came here to hear this song.

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