Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves My Reviews 07 JAN 2009

Robin HoodFor the good of all men, and the love of one woman, he fought to uphold justice by breaking the law.

Ah, I’d forgotten just how much I love this movie. I’d gotten a nifty little gift voucher for Musica for Christmas and while my first purchase on the card was a definite (the original Ghost in the Shell movie if you must know), the second was a little harder – that was until I spotted Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves staring out at me from one of the shelves as part of Musica’s 101 must see movies promotion.

Now I’ve always been a huge fan of English lore, stories like King Arthur and Robin Hood filled my childhood reading habits, and so it really is no wonder that I hold this particularly brilliant movie right up there amongst my favourites. Sure Kevin Costner doesn’t give the greatest of performances, seemingly grinning through most of his lines and without a hint of a decent English accent, but the story and the rest of the cast are just so damn good that you really have to dislike this genre to not garner any sort of enjoyment from this epic tale of romance and high adventure.

Actually, in a nutshell just in case you haven’t seen the movie before, Robin Locksley returns alive from the Crusades to England, accompanied by his Moor escape companion, Azeem. However, he learns that during his absence the Sheriff of Nottingham has slowly but surely seized control of the surrounding lands, even going so far as to murder Robin’s father and release the lands of Locksley from their title. Robin goes into hiding in the forest of Sherwood, befriending a local gang of outlaws who he then heads up and turns into legend, the Merry Men of Robin Hood who rob from the rich and give to the poor. Naturally things come to a head and Robin is enticed into a final battle against the Sheriff over the lives of his men and the honour of his love-interest, the Maid Marian of Dubois.

The movie was released in 1991 and directed by Kevin Reynolds (who went on and directed… well not much else really) and starred Kevin Costner as Robin of Locksley (Robin Hood), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Maid Marian, Morgan Freeman as Azeem, Christian Slater as Will Scarlet and Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham (in perhaps the best dark humorous villainous roles ever!).

Michael Kamen composed, orchestrated and conducted the absolutely stellar music score which singlehandedly raises the entire profile of the movie itself. Oh, and it also birthed one of Bryan Adams’ biggest hits, (Everything I Do) I do it For You, which was half buried in the actual movie itself, thanks to Kamen not actually liking what Bryan had done with the idea. Guess he still kicks himself over that one then.

And on a side note, Sean Connery garnered in $250 000 for two days of work (which in his defense he did pass on to charity) – he only appeared in the movie for literally a minute or two, and that was right at the end of it all!

So yes, it was oh so good to watch this absolute classic again. It contains a lot of dark humour, a lot of fantastic sword-swinging and bow-notching action and it captures the feel of the legend to perfection in my opinion. If you for some or other reason have never actually gotten around to seeing this legendary movie before, do yourself a favour and watch it. It really has stood the test of time!

Note: I have however established that Chantelle does indeed not share my love for this grand epic, considering the fact that she gracefully snored through at least two thirds of it. Not even prodding her with a cat’s tail could get her to bat an eyelid I’m ashamed to say.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.