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Fans Think Kevin Costner Completely Ruined This Adventure Movie

After being an icon of the '80s and '90s and head of the Dutton household from "Yellowstone," Kevin Costner has some impressive big-screen credits to his name. Appearing in cinematic staples like "Field of Dreams," "The Bodyguard," and "The Untouchables," he was a star that would've sealed a near-certain box-office success if his name was on the movie poster. That being said, as much as the two-time Oscar-winner rode a lengthy wave of Hollywood supremacy, he hit the occasional wipeout with the likes of "Waterworld" (during which he incurred a severe injury) and "The Postman." Even besides those box-office bombs, though, Costner starred in a movie that, regardless of its success, had a major issue that critics and audiences simply couldn't ignore.

In 1991, Kevin Reynolds took the helm of a Costner project that would become domestically the second-biggest film of the year, even nipping at the heels of "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" in terms of box-office success. It had all the winning ingredients for a '90s film to succeed — an all-star cast, an absolute banger of a movie soundtrack courtesy of Bryan Adams, and a hefty dose of swash and buckle that a historical legend would need. So what was the big issue with this particular adventure film? Well, it turned out to be Kevin Costner himself.

In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Kevin Costner was way off-target

Regardless of its runner-up reign at the box office that year, Costner's turn as the notorious outlaw "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" was an unforgettable bump in his career. The LA Times deemed his take on Hood as "the doofiest yet put on film; it is almost impossible to accept him as a leader of men." Variety also drew back their bow on the performance, saying, "at worst, it can be argued whether it is more properly described as wooden or cardboard."

It was a misfire that fans still dunked on decades later, particularly concerning an essential element that a Robin Hood performance needed that Costner just didn't have. u/ringobob on Reddit theorized that "if you replace Kevin Costner with pretty much anyone that can do an actual British accent, you cut the criticism in half, or better." Making sure not to drag the star too far across the coals, they added, "Costner's acting was perfectly fine, not transcendent or anything but fine, it was just the damn accent. It was so terrible it made people fish for other things to criticize."

While other flaws in the film may have been amplified by the central issue, the box office numbers would argue something certainly worked for the film to hold its own against even an iconic Arnie movie. That 'something' was a performance that was so good, that the producers went to great lengths to show less of it.

The late Alan Rickman stole the show in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

With a deliciously evil turn already under his belt that blew the roof off "Die Hard," Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" proved that only good things could come from the Oscar-nominated actor going bad. Costner's biggest adversary in the film may have been his non-existent attempt at an English accent, but Rickman as his on-screen foil made watching a movie deemed as 'muddled in tone' a whole lot easier. Hearing his slimy sheriff threaten to call off Christmas and cut Loxley's heart out with a spoon are golden moments that won audiences over, and to a concerning degree in the producer's eyes.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Costner's performance in the film was already being met poorly by test audiences, who favored Rickman's character over the film's lead. As a result, more scenes of the movie's big bad were trimmed down to ensure the hero got his moment to shine, albeit in a duller light than the villain out to get him. The decision was one that Kevin Reynolds was not happy with, going as far as to leave the project before its theatrical release. Regardless of the adjustments, though, with the added input of Rickman as a winning ingredient, what became a lesser-loved entry in Kevin Costner's career, became a defining one for the man who snarled, sneered, and smirked at him from the other side of the screen.