I checked out the new Robin Hood with Russell Crowe. While critics have given it mixed reviews, it’s been received better than the 1991 Kevin Costner epic Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Comparing the two films is the only logical move. So here we go. Costner versus Crowe. Who ya got?
Many decried Costner’s British accent (or lack thereof). While I’m no expert on British folklore, I’m pretty sure there was nothing in there about Robin Hood sounding like an Iowa corn farmer. In the 2010 version, Crowe opts for a thick Scottish brogue. A great accent for robbing the rich or powering the Enterprise.
Danny Huston provides an understated performance in Crowe’s version as a drunken, somewhat out of touch King Richard. Bonus points here as his weird hair makes him look like the Cowardly Lion. In Prince of Thieves, Sean Connery sticks out like a sore thumb. You can’t have someone so recognizable in that role without drawing everyone out of the movie. His last line might as well have been, “This is Sean Connery and I am performing a cameo.”
Crowe is forced up against a bumbling, almost non-existent Sheriff of Nottingham and a bald guy named Godfrey. No one named Godfrey has ever been formidable at anything. You never hear someone say, “Naw dawg, you don’t want to fuck with Godfrey. Godfrey will straight up bury your ass.” Costner, on the other hand, had to duke it out with Hans Gruber.
EDGE: Costner. Big time.
A lot of people like to hate on Cate Blanchett, but she always did it for me. She might have a messed up nose, and she’s not that pretty, but she looks good in a “I bet she’s attainable” sort of way. Plus if you hooked up, it would be kind of cool to make her dress up like Queen Elizabeth. On the flip side, Mastrantonio was hardly chub-worthy.
Costner seems like he was trying to recreate the Dances With Wolves epic feel, but the stories differ enough to stand on their own. Crowe’s version might as well be called Gladiator…Except This Time, We’re in England.
Crowe takes advice from a sickly old blind guy who spends most of the movie looking like he’s pooing himself. Costner’s caddy is America’s Narrator.
EDGE: Costner and the HNIC
USE OF A BOW AND ARROW
And finally, the MOST important category….
LACK OF BRYAN ADAMS’ INVOLVEMENT
Prince of Thieves featured Mr. Adams’ queef of a song (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. The song changed the landscape of mid-90’s middle school dances everywhere. Unless Adams purchases a ticket to this film, Bryan will not have any ties to the 2010 version.
Crowe’s version wins the day. Doesn’t mean they don’t have room for improvement in the sequel. For Part II, I recommend adding Morgan Freeman and continuing to not involve Bryan Adams.