Pros: The scenes in Turkey and the invasion of Sherwood are worth watching.
Cons: Costner's acting!
I found an old VHS tape in a donation box on a sidewalk and found the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves within. Perhaps I should have left it there!
Panned at the time of its 1991 release, American-sounding Kevin Costner’s emotional range is not all that great. He escapes from a Moslem prison, a participant in the Crusades, run by King Richard (whom we don’t see until the end, quick cameo by Sean Connery). This aspect was pretty good – friend dies in sacrifice, great photography and intensity of story.
Morgan Freeman stands out as the Moslem who has a life debt with Robin and so he comes to England with his “Christian” friend.
The story of Robin Hood is quite compelling, gives to the poor by robbing the rich, but Costner seems to be phoning in his lines and has none of the swashbuckling, adventuresome self-confidence of Errol Flynn’s 1938 “Adventures of Robin Hood.”
Alan Rickman chews the scenery with his campy over-acting. Hard to believe this was the same actor who played it straight in “Die Hard” or evoked evil imagery in the Harry Potter films. The occasional 20thcentury phraseology (“bring a friend”) was pretty bad.
Alan could have played it better as John. His relationship with the old crone was unclear. His thirst for women and relentless killing was a bit much – no one would oppose this type of tyranny? Hard to swallow.
Despite these problems, some scenes stand out – the invasion of the Celt-like band as they invade the forest and burn out Robin (these crazed warriors had really bad make-up!) and the rescue of Little John’s family did elicit interest and was played seriously.
Bottom Line: The serious parts play well. The attempts at comedy, not so much. Rickman’s campy acting ruined it for me, as well as Costner’s lack of real emotion. Decent photography and scenery as well as its famous theme-song (Bryan Adams’, Everything I Do, I Do For You, was quite well-done. ) helped it along – worth a watch but not more than once!