Saturday, December 31, 2005

Robin Prince of Thieves, film review.

Robin Prince of Thieves (1991), is probably Hollywood's second most commercially successful version of the Robin Hood legend. But new fans should be prepared for a degree of disappointment.

Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham is the real star of the film. Evil, psychopathic, but laden with lashings of dark, camp, humour; the film only truly comes to life when Rickman is on the screen. His scenes with Maid Marian and the wicked witch Mortianna near the end are both hilarious and thrilling.
Michael McShane as Friar Tuck gives the other great performance, as the most drunken, temperamental Friar we've seen. Also, the tension between this Christian Friar and the Muslim Azeem explores themes which surely originated in the UK television series Robin of Sherwood. It is even rumoured that the Azeem character was to be named Nasir, as in the television series, but permission was not granted.
Kevin Costner is a fine actor, but does not make a convincing Robin Hood. The same can be said for Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Maid Marian Dubois. She exhibits little real emotion for Costner, yet veritably springs to life when the Sheriff is attempting to both marry and have sex with her at the same time during the hysterical climax! Clearly she ended up with the wrong man when marrying Robin Hood.
Christian Slater makes a fine Will Scarlet (Robin's brother in this version), but is given far too little a chance to shine. Sadly the same cannot be said of Nick Brimble as Little John, who is largely replaced as Robin Hood's partner by Azeem, and whose fake hair and beard make him look more like a well groomed Wolfman than an outlaw. But do look out for Jack Wild as Much the Miller's Son. It's a small part, but very well done.

Summary: Robin Hood fans will definately want this one in their collection for the Sheriff of Nottingham performance alone. If you havn't seen that, don't miss it. But there is a much better film here trying to get out from beneath some mis-casting. (See comments box for more cast details).

More Robin Hood film reviews at this website and more images at the Robin Hood Pictures website .

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