In 1991, we were introduced to a new generation of Robin Hood. Gone was the Green tights and heroics, here was a Robin Hood that was dark, gritty and violent. It was later revealed that during production, Robin of Sherwood did serve as inspiration, especially as Robin of Sherwood introduced a Saracen character by the name of Nasir, which was changed to Azeem in the movie, to avoid copyright infringement.
The film, despite being panned by critics for being mindless and violent, was a success at the box office, netting almost $400 million worldwide, being number 2 at the box office for 1991, just behind T2: Judgement Day. Alan Rickman won a BAFTA for his portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Kevin Costner won a "Golden Raspberry" for his portrayal of Robin Hood and Christian Slater was nominated for his role of Will Scarlet.
Bryan Adams' hit single, (Everything I Do), I Do It For You, was number 1 in the UK for over 16 weeks, a record that hasn't been broken yet. It remained at number 1 on the US Billboard charts for almost 10 weeks. To date has sold over 15 million copies and is Bryan's biggest selling single to date, It's also the best selling song of all time. It won a Grammy in 1992 for best song used in a TV show or Movie. It was nominated for an Oscar in 1992, but lost out to Beauty and the Beast.
Set in the year 1194, Robin had joined up with King Richard to fight in the Crusades. He'd been captured in battle and was awaiting execution when he escaped with his friend Peter at his side and new ally in Azeem. Peter is killed in the escape back to England. Azeem promises to stay by Robin's side until his life debt is repaid.
Upon returning to England, he finds that his family have been killed, his family home is destroyed and the Sherriff of Nottingham has England ruled under an iron fist. Robin, Azeem and Duncan meet with Little John and outlaws in Sherwood Forest. After Robin bests Little John in combat, he takes over the group. The group then earns the ire of the sheriff after they attack his convoys and steal the gold within, redistributing it amongst the poor of Nottingham.
The sheriff, angered by the latest failure by Gisburne, kills him. He hires an army of Celts to lay waste to Sherwood Forest. With their hideout compromised, Robin and his men battle the Celts and Marian is captured, being returned to the Sheriff in Nottingham castle. Marian is witness to several the Merry Men who are scheduled to be killed, if she doesn't accept the Sheriff's marriage proposal. Will is amongst the captured and promises to return with Robin, if they allow him to go free.
Will is freed and returns to the remains of the hideout. Will informs Robin of the Sheriff's plan to marry Marian by force and execute his Merry Men. It's at this point where Will also reveals to Robin that he is his illegitimate half brother. Robin reconciles with Will and is happy that he has a brother.
On the day of the marriage and execution, Robin and his surviving men infiltrate Nottingham castle and free the prisoners. Instead of fleeing, Azeem incites the peasants of Nottingham to revolt against the Sheriff and join the attack with Robin and his men. The sheriff's bishop is killed by Friar Tuck after he burdens him with treasure and pushes him out the window. Robin and the Sheriff engage in battle. The sheriff is mortally wounded by Robin and Mortianna the witch tries to kill Robin with a spear, only to be finished off by Azeem. Azeem announces that his life debt is repaid.
The movie ends with Nottingham enjoying a new time of peace and prosperity now that the iron rule of the sheriff is over. Robin and Marian go to marry, but are interrupted by King Richard, who announces his return, blesses the marriage and thanks Robin for his good deeds.
The movie has since become a cult classic among fans and is considered to be the quintessential Robin Hood movie and set the trend for gritty and realistic movies. The movie was followed up by a Kenner Toy Line and a video game. I'd highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys action and adventure movies. Definitely on the list of must see movies