Patrick Bergin is a dynamic Robin Hood, hitting the mark with the perfect mix of arrogance, compassion, charm and devil-may-care, hell-bent glory-seeking. Sure, there's a list of noble reasons why Robin Hood takes to the forest to fight Norman oppression and protect the unfortunate Saxon serfs from tyranny. But let's face it, Robin is a hero who enjoys what he does. He loves nothing more than laughing at danger and tweaking the nose of authority. It's easy to see that Bergin enjoyed the part, and his pleasure translates to the screen, making it an enjoyable romp for viewers.
Bergin shares Sherwood with a fine cast. Uma Thurman is a surprisingly strong Marian. Owen Teale is an excellent, fun-loving Will Scarlett, and David Morrissey is the best Little John I've seen yet. Jeff Nuttall is also a picture-perfect Friar Tuck. On the Norman side, Jurgen Prochnow is the malicious knight, Sir Miles Folcanet, who pursues Robin through the forest, and Jeroen Krabbe is Baron Daguerre, a greedy lord with a conscience. There's a brief, but impressive, appearance of Edward Fox as the would-be King John.
The movie boasts excellent swordplay, good costuming, authentic-sounding accents ... and some great pagan symbolism.
This film also has immense respect for the history behind the legend. While we may not know much about the real Robin Hood -- if there even was one -- we do know a lot about the time period in question, and Irvin keeps his cameras focused on the truth of feudal Britain. This is a Robin Hood I can believe in without reservation.