Matinee: Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves

September 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

Similar to fashion, there are certain styles, practices and even people in film that can slip out of favour with the general public at the drop of a hat. Prolific and succesful one moment and then second-rate rejectamenta the next. This maybe because of a the release of a poor movie, poor personal decisions or just like fashion, audiences just don’t like them/it anymore.

Arguably one of the biggest movie stars of the 80’s and 90’s, Kevin Costner was a box-office success, double oscar winner and an all-American hero and then thanks to a couple a giant, steaming turds he disappeared into the abyss never to regain the same popularity and success he achieved at the top of his game. Which is a great personal shame to me, Kevin Costner and his films were my first introduction into cinema. It was his films of the 1990’s that established my love of film, repeated viewings of Field of Dreams, Tin Cup and even Waterworld, but especially Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. This glorious motion picture of 1991, to the 6 year old me was the greastest film ever made. It was gripping, action-packed, violent, funy, charming and bloody marvellous. And watching it back as an adult has opened many more doors to me.

For a family film, Robin Hood covers some rather serious ground, racial prejudice, dictatorship, Satanism, sexual harassment and abuse and it is incredibly violent. Yet, warrenting just a PG certificate, because of  the right amount of Hollywood the harsher subject matter remains subtle. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves stays a remarkable motion picture, stunning imagery and cinematography complimented by a roaring and dramatic score makes this frankly un-faithul (did Robin Hood have an American accent? Maybe, not) adaptation of English folklore, the best adaptation of the Robin Hood story. Alan Rickman’s brilliantly, menancingly over the top pantomime villian Sheriff of Nottingham to Kevin Costner’s subdued, calm and yet full of emotion and power plays our wonderfully on screen. Director Kevin Reynolds mixes the right amount of action, drama, romance, humour and does it all very well, suprisingly so from an amateur. However, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves will always be remembered purely because of a certain song by Bryan Adams that topped the British chart for 16 consecutive weeks. Which again is a shame, because the film is definitely marvellous and I shall forever sing its praises.

I will always have the time of day for the film’s of Kevin Costner, may it be a genuine classic like Dances With Wolves or indeed a genuine insult on cinema such as The Postman, I will always give them a chance, because it was his films like Robin Hood and Field of Dreams that fed my initial love of cinema. And it seems Costner, our very own Captain America still has some life left in him, future projects include a role in Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti western Django Unchained and he will even play Superman’s dad in the forthcoming Man of Steel. It seems the wiley old fox shall not be put out to pasture just yet…unless someone cuts his heart out with a spoon.

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