Saturday, August 4, 2007

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves?

How do you screw up Robin Hood this much? And if you're going to, why don't you just not bother? We've already got two great versions (Errol Flynn and Disney, and I don't care what you say), and then this nonsense comes along. A whiny, clumsy Robin Hood that is only cocky when it's most annoying? Great. Morgan Freeman playing the Magical -- actually, can't we just call it "The Morgan Freeman Character" at this point?

Anyway, I obviously only watched this for Alan Rickman, because I was still on that "Alan Rickman as an entertaining villain" thing. In this case, it's like he's appearing in a different, much more fun, movie. Here's what Roger Ebert said when it came out:

Costner plays Robin Hood as if he were Alan Alda.

Alan Rickman, in complete contrast, plays the Sheriff as if he were David Letterman: He's a wicked, droll, sly, witty master of the put-down and one-liners, who rolls his eyes in exasperation when Robin comes bursting in to interrupt the rape. Rickman's performance has nothing to do with anything else in the movie, and indeed seems to proceed from a uniquely personal set of assumptions about what century, universe, etc., the story is set in, but at least when Rickman appears on the screen we perk up, because we know we'll be entertained, at whatever cost to the story.

Darn right! I don't understand how a fun guy like Brian Blessed's Lord Locksley could possibly be the father to both Kevin Costner and (spoiler!) Christian Slater. Well, I admit that I don't really know that Blessed's character is a fun guy, but how could he not be? He's Brian Blessed! If Mike McShane hadn't shown up as Friar Tuck, the "Merry Men" would have been the worst-named group since, um, I can't be bothered to come up with a comparison.

This movie stinks.

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