Robin Hood decides to fight back as an outlaw when faced with the tyranny of the Sheriff of Nottingham.Robin Hood decides to fight back as an outlaw when faced with the tyranny of the Sheriff of Nottingham.Robin Hood decides to fight back as an outlaw when faced with the tyranny of the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Younger viewers coming to this film on television may not appreciate that this film was made at a time when the presence of Kevin Costner was a bonus and indeed almost a selling point. Yes, I know this sounds like crazy talk from an older man who has seen too many movies to be good for him but it is true and Robin Hood is a fine example of a so-so film that was built partly on his star power. Of course the downside of this is that the film itself is not that good because it has his and others' names to let it carry it. The plot is well known but rather annoyingly touched with modernisms and Americanisms to the detriment of the telling (whether this be the accents, the errors or just the attitude). This also contributes to the lack of depth in the film and generally, although it looks slick, it doesn't provide anything in the way of emotional engagement despite the fact that it spawned the manipulative and saccharine Bryan Adams hit that seemed to taint everyone's wedding back in 1992.
The direction is glossy but it cannot get to the heart of anything and Reynolds also fails to get that much out of his cast. As a result Costner simply trades on his rather stiff charm, occasionally enjoying himself but generally taking the whole thing too seriously. Rickman effortlessly dominates the film by chewing the scenery in each and every scene his colourful performance makes Costner (who can be good) look as stiff as a board. I've never seen the appeal of Mastrantonio at the best of times and this is not the best of times. She is dull and pretty poor all round. Freeman is a good face but is a modernisation too far. Slater is pointless although support from Wincott, Blessed, Brimble and a few others is good if not that great.
Overall then this is a rather joyless spectacle but one that is glossy enough to perhaps do the job for undemanding viewers. It isn't that much fun and the attempts at emotional engagement are mostly cloying and sentimental. The cast are mixed but the only one able to inject life into the rather stiff material is Rickman, who easily livens his scenes but cannot carry the film. Worth a look if you are in a undemanding mood but just don't expect anything more than the blockbuster basics.
- bob the moo
- May 1, 2006