Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

“Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” is very much a product of its time. Very hammy Alan Rickman performance. Very earnest Kevin Costner performance. A (marginally) more energetic and engaged Morgan Freeman. The hairstyles. The clumsy racial elements, and the bizarrely uncomfortable and protracted attempted rape scene. No, you certainly wouldn’t get a film like this these days. Is the fact the most modern Robin Hood, Ridley Scott’s exceedingly dull, muted, and grim adaptation, is so…exceedingly dull, muted, and grim, also an unfavourable reflection on the current times? Sure, why not. I imagine twenty-six years after its year of release, it will hold up as oddly (poorly?) as “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” does now.

I do actually largely enjoy the film. I really like Kevin Costner and Alan Rickman, a lot of the locations are gorgeous, and I enjoyed how dated it felt. I wish the film gave more reason to justify its own existence though. Watching it now, it feels like an unhappy medium between the delightful 1938 Robin Hood film, and the grim 2010 one. It has its moments of delight (like Costner’s endearingly dopey performance) and its moments of grimness (the uncomfortable occultist scenes).


The tone of the film is even more all over the place than Costner’s accent. I give it two feathered arrows, and a long-lost brother.


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