The spirit of adventure is alive and well in this retooling of the exploits of a legendary hero. Director Kevin Reynolds and screenplay writers Pen Densham and John Watson have come up with just the right mix of action, dash, romance, and humor.

Kevin Costner fills the bill as the valiant and principled Robin of Locksley, who returns to England after the Crusades with a Moorish friend (Morgan Freeman) he has rescued from certain death in a prison. Robin discovers that his father has been murdered and that the country is being ravaged and savaged by the diabolical whims of the malevolent Sheriff of Nothingham (Alan Rickman in a deliciously wicked performance).

Vowing to avenge his father, Robin heads off to the “haunted” Sherwood Forest where he links up with a motley band of outlaws, dispossessed families led by Little John (Nick Brimble) and Will Scarlett (Christian Slater). The villainy of the Sheriff of Nothingham is so monstrous that it even sends Marian (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) into the arms of his archenemy, who now calls himself Robin Hood.

Although the storyline flirts with trouble, especially when too much play is given to the dastardly machinations of a witch who advises the Sheriff, the film is saved from lasting damage by its full-throttled action sequences. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is a high-spirited adventure that dazzles the senses and leaves us asking for more.

The special edition DVD features audio commentaries with stars Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, and Christian Slater, as well as with screenwriter Pen Densham, producer John Watson, and composer Michael Kamen. It also includes interviews with Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman, and a featurette called "Robin Hood: The Man, the Myth, the Legend."