In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw "smokers," and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.
Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action.
After being captured by Turks during the Crusades, Robin of Locksley and a Moor, Azeem, escape back to England, where Azeem vows to remain until he repays Robin for saving his life. Meanwhile, Robin's father, a nobleman loyal to King Richard the Lionhearted, has been murdered by the brutal Sheriff of Nottingham, who helped install Richard's treacherous brother, Prince John, as king while Richard is overseas fighting the Crusades. When Robin returns home, he vows to avenge his father's death and restore Richard to the throne. Even though Maid Marian, his childhood friend, cannot help him, he escapes to the Forest of Sherwood where he joins a band of exiled villagers and becomes their leader. With their help he attempts to cleanse the land of the evil that the Sheriff has spread.Written by
Graeme Roy <email@example.com>
...is what a commercial advertising the 1938 version of Robin Hood had to say in the summer of 1991 regarding the advertisement for this film claiming "This summer Kevin Costner is Robin Hood". The voice of the pronouncement was from the actor that defined the role of Robin Hood and the role of the swashbuckler in general - Errol Flynn.
Not only does Kevin Costner not sound like Robin Hood, he doesn't act like him either. His performance doesn't even come close to that of Flynn. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is good enough in her performance as Marian, but still you can't compare the chemistry between Errol Flynn and Olivia De Haviland to whatever is there between 1991's Marian and Robin. Do note that this version does show more of the tragedy that befalls the peasants than was present in the 1938 version. This emphasis on tragedy and drama is probably there to offset the fact that since Kevin Costner can't even begin to swash Errol Flynn's buckle, and comes across more like a social worker who is good at archery, the film had to take the emphasis off of the great fun and energy of Robin Hood himself.
The one saving grace of this film is Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham. His use of the black arts is shown openly as was not possible in the 1938 version, demonstrating the true evil measure of the man, and at the same time he gets off some great comic one liners and manages to steal the picture. Claude Raines, who played Prince John in the 1938 version, would have been proud of this performance.
If you want to see an intentionally comic rendition of Robin Hood, see Mel Brooks' "Robin Hood Men in Tights". That movie succeeded at least partially by playing off some of the ludicrous aspects of this one.
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