Folklore and urban legends have always made for good stories and especially good stories when it comes to films. We have seen multiple different adaptations of some absolutely fantastic folklore and myths, from Jack and the Beanstalk to Baba Yaga, King Arthur, and of course, Robin Hood. There have been fantastic films based on these myths and folklore that really showcase how epic folklore can be in the film medium. Though unfortunately, a lot of the time the classic Hollywood renditions of folklore and myth turn out to be more enjoyable than actually decently made. This is particularly the case with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
How to Stream or Download Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
You can stream it or you can download the film from several digital platforms. Click on the Download button at the end of the review and make your choice. Check out also another Robin Hood movie we have reviewed, entitled simply Robin Hood. If you like Kevin Costner, check him out also as Al Harrison in Hidden Figures or as Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
The Movie Review
The story showcases the bold and epic saga of Robin Hood In a new and refreshing light. Around the end of the third crusade, the world was in a bit of disarray. The poor were getting poorer and the rich were getting richer, this led to a lot of civil unrest and people living in poverty and starvation. The story showcases Robin, a young man whose brother’s death permanently changes his life. As he heads back to England and finds out that his father has been hanged to death.
Now, with nothing left to do other than protecting his childhood friend Marion, Robin’s life is devoted to the common folk as he does everything in his power to protect the poor people from the corrupt and powerful English rulers.
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of director Kevin Reynolds’s films. He hasn’t made a good film since the 2002 interpretation of the Count of Monte Cristo. Though, I can respectfully say that Robin Hood Prince of thieves is perhaps one of his best films. This isn’t due to how well it is made as a feature, but how enjoyable and engaging its story is. The film is very emotional and engaging due to its subject matter, which is more serious than you would find in other Robin Hood films. It is also short to perfection with its dark cinematography, a pretty atmosphere, and colorless locations. Everything in this film is setting up a mood, that will go full circle and blast off near the climax.
The film is also elevated by some wonderful performances by some of our favorite Hollywood darlings. The first person that comes to mind is definitely Morgan Freeman as Azeem, he brings a delicate perspective of loyalty to his portrayal, while Alan Rickman brings a brutally ruthless and vindictive take on the Sheriff of Nottingham. Kevin Costner as Robin Hood was a bit of a letdown though, as he didn’t seem to have the acting chops required for some of the emotional scenes in this film.
He also felt out of place, especially during some superintense moments. On the other hand, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is absolutely breathtaking as Marian, bringing a dedication unlike anyone else on the set.
Douglas Milsome’s cinematography is probably the thing most worked on in this film. Not in a bad way though, because the cinematography itself is what keeps this film above the radar. This is a meticulously shot film, every single moment is full of atmosphere, immersion, and color. The colors are dried out though, giving it a brutalist feel. The film is full of greys and browns, and the classic blood red and maroons truly showcase how dark and brutal the times were during the era of Robin Hood.
It also has a fantastic soundtrack to increase the quality of the film even further, making some of the songs absolute classics.
The Bottom Line
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is a rare film. Actually, in the modern era of Hollywood, most of the content we are getting is either PG13 or striving to be PG13 since that’s where the money is. However, back in the 90s when the chips were down, films such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves were claiming the box office as their own. This was because they brought in intelligent stories and smart scripts, with great characters that got developed throughout the film’s length.
There was no sequel bait, no build-up to something bigger. This is a straightforward film that showcased a heartfelt story in one of the most wonderful ways possible. Sure, it did have a couple of issues that brought down the quality, yet it was still so fantastically engaging that you couldn’t take your eyes off of it!
- Intelligently written characters.
- Well-acted and full of depth portrayals.
- An emotional story of growth and maturity.
- Some fantastic action sequences, and some important dramatic moments.
- Incredible cinematography, each shot is a work of art.
- Some pacing issues take away from key moments with random scenes.