Robin Hood Prince of Thieves is a 1991 action-adventure movie, starring Kevin Costner, Alan Rickman and Morgan Freeman and concerns the exploits of the famous legend who arrives back to England with his Moor co escapee after fleeing captivity in Jeruselum. But on his arrival back he learns of the murder of his father and plot to take over the throne of England by The Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman).
After a skirmish with the sheriff’s men he teams up with a band of outlaws who live in the forest and they plan to overthrow the men in charge and give the people back what was stolen from them. He also vows to get revenge for his father’s death.
Firstly the film itself is a lot of fun with lots of action, some of it very violent for a PG13 and the cast is generally good, Costner’s accent is all over the place and Alan Rickman steals the show with a scenery-chewing performance. The supporting cast includes many famous faces including Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Maid Marian and Christian Slater as Will Scarlet.
Most of it is total nonsense, for instance, how does he manage to walk from the white cliffs of Dover to Nottingham in such a short time but, in these times especially, a good old fashioned romp is whats needed and too much critical analysis should be thrown out of the window. Its a good enjoyable movie and everyone remembers the theme song by Bryan Adams as well as a good score by Michael Kamen which has been used in many trailers and commercials since. It was a huge box office hit at the time so Costner knew his audience and was a big poke in the eye for most critics.
The film has been released onto Blu Ray in an Extended cut which adds over 11 minutes to the theatrical cut, with many new scenes and some extra violence. This version has been released in the UK (no mention of an extended version on the cover for some reason) and the USA and is region free.
These releases use an older HD transfer, contrast is strong but the image is very soft at times, losing some detail although some close-ups look great. While the picture is certainly better than the DVD release it desperately needs a new remaster. Audio is fabulous with a rousing Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track but again it could do with some remastering to the overall mix.
One great thing about this release is the extras. Two audio commentaries one with the director Kevin Reynolds and Kevin Costner and the other with Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, and screenwriters/producers John Watson and Pen Densham. The Man, The Myth, The Legend (SD, 32 minutes) is a made for TV making-of feature, One-On-One with the Cast (SD, 21 minutes): This collection of interviews has Kevin Costner, Alan Rickman, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Christian Slater, all discuss their characters, the story, and the production. Live performance of the theme by Bryan Adams and an isolated music and effects track as well as trailers round off the package.
A fun movie with a great cast and let’s hope it is not too long before a deserved remaster comes along.
FILM – 7 PICTURE – 6.5 AUDIO – 8 EXTRAS – 9