In the early ’90s, the Kevins were set to rule the entertainment world. Director, Kevin Reynolds, pointed ways with a series of promising works. The other, the number one star, Kevin Costner, actually he had already mastered it. ‘Robin Hood, prince of thieves‘, it was a success and one of the greatest adventures of our life. At your fingertips today on Paramount Network.
The adventure of your life
The purists of the Robin of the Woods legend, those who vibrated on Sundays with the Michael Curtiz and William Keighley tape, they found a much more “dirty” and realistic film, but also, make no mistake, much more absorbing. With an extra hour, the Kevins extend the narrative in favor of emotion and spectacle, focusing more on the community of “thieves” and, above all, recreating in the relationship between the characters and in an exemplary super villain.
Pierced limbs, cropped ears, terrifying witches in the service of the Sheriff of Nottingham … the Reynolds movie has it all. She also got ahead of everyone with a much more liberated Lady Marian (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), proud of not being a damsel in distress, than too. Nor can we forget the camera on the arrow and the excellent soundtrack of the remembered Michael Kamen, who served Bryan Adams the greatest success of his career.
Swashbuckling movies suffered as much or more than westerns over the years. While the cowboys and Indians returned successfully every x years, the heroes with green tights they were always much more marginalized. The mission was complicated: to make forget the beautiful animated feature Disney, the color of the forests by Errol Flynn or the romantic twilight of Sean Connery in the Richard Lester film. The bet seemed impossible, but he succeeded in spades.
For this, as I said at the beginning, he had to touch the offense towards the purists of the adventures of the hero of Sherwood, because here his history is rewritten. Some characters disappear, we discover a bastard brother of Robin (Christian Slater), a fellow of the Moorish crusades (Morgan Freeman) and a Sheriff of Nothingam fond of black magic at the feet of a mother / castrating witch.
For his part, Costner gives life to a Robin with a youthful spirit while remaining credible as a mature man with pseudo-medieval clothing, closer to a Duran Duran video clip than to what we understood by Robin Hood. Hugely successful in its day, Kevin Reynolds’ film perfectly exemplifies a sadly lost idea of what was meant by 90s popular cinema. A cinema capable of absorbing well-known references and icons to offer something modern, daring and fresh, as well as a first-rate show.
I like to think that the good atmosphere of the film, that good vibes that it transmits, is due, in part, to the hallucinogens that grew around the set. “One of my specialists comes to see me: Do you want to go mushroom hunting? I asked him what type they were, and he replied that they were of the best variety. I thought, Okay, let’s go! Then we go into the forest while he explains what they are like so I can find some. I am dressed as Robin Hood and he as one of my opponents, and when I realize what we were looking for, considering that we had to film some action scenes, we stop the search“.
More applauded by the public than by critics 30 long years ago, ‘Robin Hood, prince of thieves’ deserves to change once and for all his cult status to that of absolute classic. Those old Tri Pictures VHS tapes that we pulverized in our teens are now one of the most treasured treasures in our bluray collection.