Still entertaining after so many years …
What’s the purpose of a good movie?
The ability to dream away in a different world and forget about your own problems. The greater the illusion, the more fun the experience. There is a very simple reason why Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is hands down the greatest Robin Hood of all times. Never mind the old movies, never mind Academy Award-winning character actor Russell Crowe doing his own version of Robin Hood, which frankly is nowhere near as good. It all comes down to one thing when talking about big Hollywood blockbusters: loads and loads of fun!
To help us achieve such a noble quest, director Kevin Reynolds – who only had one major hit in his entire career (guess which one?) – was able to rely on one of the most fantastic ensemble casts in in an American movie. There are so many famous faces running around that it feels like its a celebrity party.
There is the charming Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio who only two years prior to this movie took our breaths away with the underwater masterpiece The Abyss. She fulfills the part of maid Marian and does so with great anticipation. The scream she lets off near the end of the movie is a one of a kind that you’ll never forget (and if you have, it will most definitely touch your heart’s desire).
Unacquainted with the action genre is actor Morgan Freeman, who would build a most astonishing career but not one built around action, rather drama pieces and an occasional comedy. It’s quite amazing how he pulls it off … everyone knew back then the actor was as American as apple pie, yet you never doubt him for one second as the Arabian sword fighter. Whether it’s accent or the plain and simple fact that Morgan Freeman – even in his early years – was a damn fine actor, is pointless. He is easily one of the best things about the movie …
Further down the list we find a marvelously devilish performance of British theatrical actor Alan Rickman, sided by his equally disturbing nephew Michael Wincott. It is completely futile to mention just how good these two actors are. They pretty much rock the boat with every single performance they display in their careers.
Less of a triumphant but equally fun to look at, I suppose, is the acting of Christian Slater, who just about to start off his career. He is part of a team of woodsmen who eventually join forces with Robin Hood in a attempt to defeat the sheriff of Nottingham.
Totally not so famous but oh-so bloody outstanding in this flick are actors Nick Brimble and Michael McShane, starring as the stronger-than-a-bear John Little (or was it Little John?) and the delightful holy man (when he’s not drinking), Friar Tuck.
But the man of the hour is without a doubt mister Kevin Costner. In the early ’90s, his career was peaking beyond the tip of the Hollywood-mountain. Fresh of an Oscar for his classic tale of cowboys vs. Indians in Dances with Wolves and prepping himself to find out the truth behind the still-unresolved mystery murder of JFK as well as preparing for the role of bodyguard for scream-queen Whitney Houston in the wonderfully simplistic The Bodyguard, Kevin Costner was as famous as famous gets.
In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves he plays the part of – wait for it! – yes, Robin Hood. He does it better than anyone else, period! Kevin Costner was born to play parts like these. The strong male. The lone wolf hero. The guy who never gets beaten, no matter how many times he bites the dust. It’s a role he would be playing quite frequently throughout his career.
In this movie he clearly enjoys every minute of it. He shines of the silver screen and not for one minute do you doubt that thát man in front of you is not Kevin Costner … but Robin Hood!
There is not much more to say about this movie. It’s a fabulous, almost child-friendly blockbuster that doesn’t care about the authenticity of a character that isn’t even real to begin with (that’s right, Robin Hood is all made-up). It was strange back in 1991 how some people refuted the notion of an American playing a British folklore legend when in fact most actors who took on the costume of Robin Hood weren’t even British.
You can say whatever you want of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves … it’s simply put: one of the most enjoyable adventure movies ever made! Even Sean Connery and Bryan Adams didn’t wanna miss this celebrity-party (although I still have not spot the latter one in the movie – apparently he plays the part of a balladeer).
Jeezes … speaking of which … we didn’t even talk about the beautiful music … there is another gem that we nearly overlooked!
Give it to me straight:
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is a first-class, typical ’90s movie that doesn’t care whether the story makes sense of if the accuracy is spot-on. The fact that Robin Hood is played by an American or how an Arabian sword fighter in this movie is also American or how a witch is stabbed through the heart but still lives on … it doesn’t matter! It simply does not matter … this movie was made for fun, for entertainment, for cheering out loud and laughs.
This movie relies heavily on nostalgia and the ability of the viewer to dream away like a kid. This movie is one that tells us not to take things too seriously and simply enjoy the adventure. Be honest, how great is it to see Kevin Costner shoot two arrows at once in the hearts of a couple of bad guys?
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has a stellar cast, beautiful music (the song ‘Everything I do, I do it for you’ by Bryan Adams is even played during the movie on a harp … so beautiful!) and great set pieces nicely wrapped around a magnificent adventure!
I cannot believe director Kevin Reynolds has only made 1 great movie in his career …
Give it to me short:
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is a movie for young and old. It is the perfect blockbuster, the perfect summer movie simply made to relax and enjoy a wonderful thrill-ride full of adventure and occasional laughs. You’ll get fist fights, true heroes protecting the ladies and even a massive explosion! Don’t think too hard on this one … this movie is made from the heart, not the brains!