Historians reckon Robin Hood is a 16th century story. At least, the guy we know: who robs from the rich, gives to the poor, romances Maid Marion and kills bad people with a bow and arrow. I imagine Robin was pretty appealing to the average 16th century peasant…stuck in his home village, married to his homely cousin, unsure what Shakespeare was on about, or whether he was Protestant or Catholic that week. Then, as now, Robin Hood offered escapism. Our 16th century guy wasn’t bothered if Robin was real, or whether Robin spoke with a regional accent; he wanted a peasant to get one over on the rich boys. Could someone explain this to Ridley Scott?
We love movie murderers; whether it’s Dirty Harry executing punks or Hannibal Lecter eating the rude. Morals slacken when killing is done on-screen. The fact these guys would probably kill us if they got half a chance doesn’t factor (we know we’d be the exception to their “kill ’em all” rule). In Mr. Brooks it’s Kevin Costner who plays the psychopath. He’s more Jekyll and Hyde than Dracula, but he still kills more often than most of us eat hot meals. What is it about a guy like that? Why would anyone think they could make us sympathise with him?