Director: Kevin Reynolds
Writer: Pen Densham and John Watson
Cinematographer: Douglas Milsome
by Tory Maddox
The 90s deliver another film that serves as a throwback, in this case to the swashbuckler tales of Errol Flynn, relying on large practical sets complete with all the legendary characters from the original story. I haven’t seen this movie since it first came out, having long associated it with New Found Glory’s cover of “Everything I Do, I Do It For You”.
Strange to think that Robin Hood has become politicized in recent times, and that those who disagree with the philosophy are therefore taking the side of the Sheriff of Nottingham's, played in this film by the great Alan Rickman, who only accepted the role if he could have carte blanche over how he interpreted the character. As a result, we see a pretty awesome villain that’s a fairly decent follow up to Hans-boobie.
Interesting also is that Jack Shaheen, an activist who was petitioning Hollywood for more favorable representations of Arabs, approved of Morgan Freeman’s character Nadir, who portrayed him as a devout and intelligent Muslim who behaved admirably, rather than falling into the usual stereotypes.
Roger Ebert derided the film for its ceaseless violence, including the opening scene where men’s heads are getting cut off, all the way to the end in which a young boy is about to be hanged. To think that this seems completely mild by today’s standards is an understatement. I saw it as extremely cookie cutter, taking a classical Hollywood style and injecting it with a bit more rawness. I didn’t really see it as stygian so much as attempting to modernize the silver era, and providing yet another example of why the 90s should be regarded as the post-modern era, in which traditional genres were revisited and revised. I have not yet scene Ridley Scott’s version, but I’m confident that it’s probably overwrought with CGI and aims toward presenting a very ‘realistic’ rendition of Robin Hood. Perhaps if Scott chose instead to take what worked from the traditional approach and added to it, we could have gotten something worth talking about.
BELOW: Gotta miss those 80s/90s music videos accompanying tent pole films
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