Morgan Freeman and Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991)

Costner 'N' the Hood

I remember when Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" first came out, I really loved it even though I quickly grew to hate the theme music. B but having rewatched it many years later I realized that firstly it is not as good as I thought it was and secondly my taste in movies has changed and improved. Forgetting any historical inaccuracies, as there are far too many, "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" is now surprisingly a little bit disappointing.

Following his escape from jail and return to England from the Crusades, Robin (Kevin Costner - Dances with Wolves) along with Azeem (Morgan Freeman - Glory) by his side, sets out to avenge his father's death and to save the peasants in the Shire from the cunning Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman - Die Hard).

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Marian Dubois in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991)

As "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" follows the character of Robin of Locksley on his return to England, we discover why he detests the Sheriff so much and how he formed his band of 'merry' men. But the biggest problem for me is the plot, which doesn't gel and this causes things to run some what disjointedly, it is taken for granted that you already know the story of Robin of Sherwood.

On top of this, I feel that the main characters are not explained enough and again, it is expected that you already know the story. Talking of the characters, or more on their accents, I didn't know if I was in Ye Olde England or Ye Olde New York, as the accents are so inconsistent and to be honest unbelievable. Okay, so maybe I am being a bit over critical of what is essentially still an enjoyable movie, especially as "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" is now quite a few years old. It just feels like it is a paint it by numbers Hollywood blockbuster, which lacks any serious substance.

Okay, in the lead role of Robin is Kevin Costner who for me is a huge casting error. Other than his bad attempt at an English accent, he doesn't come across as a convincing leader of a band of men. Don't get me wrong, he does his best, but it just doesn't work for me. As the evil Sheriff of Nottingham is Alan Rickman who although livens "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" up, his over the top, somewhat comical performance is more suited to a pantomime. To be honest, there are too many questions as to why, concerning both the casting and the characters in this movie. Why did some of the actors and actresses agree to star in this and why don't we get a deeper understanding of the characters. Finally, why did Sean Connery, a very good actor, agree to appear in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" with a total of 5 lines and just 1 minute on screen?

"Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" is directed by Kevin Reynolds who went on to direct the even more dubious "Waterworld". Can I blame Reynolds for this movie I probably could, but somehow I feel he was being controlled by the Hollywood big wigs, who made him create a movie which would compete against all the other summer blockbusters. I also remember that he had quite a few run ins with Kevin Costner as to the direction and editing of the movie.

Finally, who can forget the soundtrack to Robin Hood, and more importantly, how many weeks did Bryan Adams stay at No. 1 in the charts with "(Everything I do) I do it for you". To be honest, the actual soundtrack in the movie is not that bad, and actually helps to try and keep the movie moving.

What this boils down to is that watching "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" with a critical eye, did I still enjoy it? In some degrees yes, it is still a bit of light hearted escapism which although is not a terrible movie it still falls someway short of what it could have been. There are far too many weaknesses in the plot, characters and historical references to make this film really good. Surprisingly, I would still recommend people to see it, probably not to actually buy it, but at least rent it. For those who remember it from back in 1991, I'm sure it will bring back memories of the summer, especially when you hear the music.

Tags: Robin Hood Movies