"Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe or..."
"Because. It's dull you twit, it'll hurt more."
Now, I hadn't seen Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves since we lived on Webster street (for those who don't know the personal timeline of my childhood, that was a long, long time ago), but that quote - first heard when I must have been five or six years old - has stuck in my memory as one of my favorites.
Tonight, I re-watched Prince of Thieves for the first time in years. And dear lord, it's oh so much better now.
Robin Hood has always been one of my favorite fairy tails. I'm not really sure why, but I've loved pretty much every incarnation of it that I've seen or read (my roommate and I watched Men In Tights just over a week ago. What a classic). And I distinctly remember watching this one at a very young age and getting the crap scared out of me. I mean, is there really much creepier than Guy of Gisborne or Mortianna the witch?? But tonight, while I still closed my eyes for some wrist-cutting and face-stitching, I appreciated this film - and any that mocked it later - much, much more.
To start off, this movie features two of my favorite voices. Though, I must say it's unsettling watching (er, hearing) Morgan Freeman put on any sort of accent. I love him so much, but in the role of Azeem, oy. He was great, but not to be taken seriously. If the creators of this film were aiming for heartfelt sentiment through-and-through (which, due to some of the pointed humor I'm not entirely convinced of), they missed the mark. But, it was filmed almost two decades ago, so we'll cut them some slack.
Oh, so who might my second favorite voice in the film be? Why, Alan Rickman of course. Whether as Professor Snape in Harry Potter, a cheating husband in Love Actually, Marvin in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or the thieving sheriff of Nottingham in Prince of Thieves, I do love listening to him speak. Even - scratch that - especially when he's threatening someone's life with a kitchen utensil. His character managed to get away with a series of one-liners...
"That's it then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings... And call off Christmas!"
Now, I won't even touch Kevin Costner's accent, mullet or overall performance.
However, despite being an easy mark for satire, I have to say, I cannot help but love this film. It's part nostalgia, part... OK, mostly nostalgia in a variety of forms. But really. Robbing from the rich and giving to the poor? What could be more tis-the-season than that?