Today! Because it’s dull, you twit! It’ll hurt more!
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
Directed by Kevin Reynolds
Starring Kevin Costner (x3), Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater, Brian Blessed (x2), Sean Connery (x3), Geraldine McEwan, Micheal McShane, Michael Wincott, Nick Brimble
I’m under the assumption this movie is the reason we’re treated to new, shitty Robin Hood remakes every few years. This is the blueprint – and this is based largely in tone on the original, rollicking rich-robbing good time The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn. Sure, it’s updated some, featuring a solid if unremarkable Costner performance (so, a standard Costner performance) balanced by a good Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Marian, a solid Morgan Freeman as the Moor Azeem, and a fantastic, movie-stealing villain turn by Alan Rickman. I saw Robin Hood way more times growing up than I did Die Hard, so for me, Rickman will always be the Sheriff of Nottingham first, Hans Gruber second, Severus Snape like ninth.
But man, public domain is a really appealing thing to studios, am I right? Anyone with thirty bucks and a bow and arrow can go make a Robin Hood movie, and so it just keeps happening. Is that detracting from the memory of how truly great the 1991 version is? A lot of it gets mixed up in the Bryan Adams song – keeping it in the consciousness a while as a romance – and the Mel Brooks parody – which solidly highlights some of the more ridiculous aspects – but then has the film itself gotten lost? Do Costner movies from this era hold up? He’s that rare huge movie star that brought little more than a stable presence to his films, and because his career so aggressively deteriorated in the late ’90s, I wonder if these movies are now remembered as guilty pleasures. Has his television-led resurgence of the last ten years helped? Were Waterworld and The Postman more hiccups in the collective memory than the doomsday they seemed at the time?
I don’t know, I like a lot of Costner movies. Hell, I think Waterworld is kind of unfairly slammed. This is his induction into the Three-Timers club here already. Sure, they aren’t scratching the high end of this list, but I still remember them fondly enough to include them. He was a great straight lead to play opposite the more in-depth character support. Look at Connery in #354 The Untouchables, or Morgan Freeman here, or everyone else in #357 JFK. Hell, look at the entire cast of The Big Chill, for that matter – Costner was the faceless dead body at the opening funeral, and everyone acted their asses off the rest of the film! Because of Costner? Hard to say, but evidence seems to indicate maybe!
“(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” was nominated for an Oscar, and is largely the only thing honored with major accolades from the movie, with the surprise exception of Alan Rickman having won a BAFTA for playing the Sheriff! Good on you, Rickman! Opposite Razzie winner Costner for the same film! Wild! But let’s also hand over a Best Chopping Block Spittle award, to the executioner slobbering all over Slater’s Will Scarlett. Memorably gross!
Costner’s Untouchables co-star Connery also joins the Three-Timers today, with his performance as Colonel Arbuthnot in #374 Murder on the Orient Express, while #332 Star Wars Episode I‘s Boss Nass Brian Blessed joins the Two-Timers today! Spotlight!