a critiQal film review Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Plot: Robin of Locksley (Costner) returns from the Crusades to find his father murdered and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Rickman) attempting to wrest control of the throne from the absent King Richard. Robin meets up with a group of outlaws in the depths of Sherwood Forest. Together they begin stealing from the Sheriff and giving to the poor, even while Robin begins to fall in love with the King's cousin, the beautiful Maid Marian (Mastrantonio).

630 words (Est. Reading Time 3m 9s)
  • ...thanks in large part to Rickman's villainous performance as the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham, this swashbuckling tale is still just as fun 2 decades after its release.

Back in 1991 you may have heard of a song called “(Everything I Do I Do It) For You” by Bryan Adams, which was the theme song of the big hit of ’91, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Back then it seemed like you couldn’t escape the song (no matter how much you wanted to). It was used for countless proms, dances, proposals, etc. It got to the point where, no matter how much you liked the song to begin with, it started getting on your nerves, and probably left an emotional scar or two as well.

Then, DVD began to get big and the movie that started all of that song’s fanfare came to DVD. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. (the studio that made Prince of Thieves) skimped a little (a lot, actually) on the DVD version of the film. They included no special features and you actually had to flip the DVD over to watch the second half of the film.

Now, with DVD’s continuously rising popularity (and with the emotional scars of the song hopefully fading), Warner Bros. has decided to release a new improved, Special Edition, of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. So, is this new 2-disc DVD set worth buying?

The performances in the film still hold up well 12 years after the film was made. Kevin Costner, who was in his prime movie making days at the time, does a great job portraying the famous Robin Hood, and stands well against Robin’s other portrayers throughout history.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, as the lovely Maid Marian, definitely brings a depth to her role that usually is non existent in the Robin Hood films.

The rest of the cast, which includes famous names Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater, among others, do a great job of backing these two up. Alan Rickman seems to be perfectly cast as the Sheriff of Nottingham, especially considering this film followed hot on the heels of Rickman’s other notable bad guy Hans Gruber in .

The film, using a plot that has been done many times before, still manages to involve the audience a great deal. The characters are all well fleshed out, and the storyline moves at a quick enough pace that no one gets bored. Even the love story between Robin and Marian flows smoothly, and proves to be an excellent back drop for the film.

The special effects are very well done for a ’91 movie, and there are no real visible flaws. It seems that the director definitely took his time with the film, and tried to catch every little detail. The setting, of 12th century England, provides a brilliant and majestic background for the film as well.

This time around, Warner Bros. has definitely made up for it’s shoddy original DVD release of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The new 2-disc set contains the inevitable music video for the Bryan Adams song, but it is also packed with special features and this time you don’t have to flip the disc to watch the entire movie!

Not only do you get 2 feature length commentaries, you get a bonus disc packed with extras from a Photo Gallery to Behind the Scenes Featurette to even the original Theatrical Trailer, even 12 extra minutes of footage in the film!

So, should you buy the new special edition Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves? Yes. It’s a good movie that could never fully be enjoyed on DVD until now, and it will most likely take you back to remember the ’90’s with fondness as well. After all, who doesn’t have a fond memory of a time they heard “(Everything I Do I Do It) For You”? So, the real question is, why don’t you already own a copy of this new version?

Go out and get yours today!

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