Robin Hood [1991/I]

Kevin Costner's lousy English accent is a small obstacle in this often exciting version of the Robin Hood fable. That aside, it's refreshing to have a preface to the old story in which we meet the robber hero of Sherwood Forest as a soldier in King Richard's Crusades, coming home to find his people under siege from the cruelties of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman). After Robin and his community of outcasts and fighters take to the trees, director Kevin Reynolds (Fandango, 187) is on more familiar narrative ground, and he goes for the gusto with lots of original action (Robin shoots two arrows simultaneously from his bow in two directions). Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, as Marion, makes a convincing damsel in distress, and Morgan Freeman brings dignity to his role as Robin's Moor friend. Alan Rickman, however, gets the most attention for his scene-chewing role as the rotten sheriff, an almost campy performance that is highly entertaining but perhaps a little out of sorts with the rest of the film. --Tom Keogh

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