Just finished watching the HENRY V, the last of the Tom Hiddleston "Hollow Crown" sequence.
And I quite liked it, although I agree with the general feeling that Hiddleston's Hal is better than his King Henry, if that makes sense.
And it made me think about how I'd do it. And I think I know a take on it that would work, is supported by the text, and hasn't really been done that I've seen.
What if Prince Hal is basically a thug? He's played as a happy-go-lucky fool who then rises to the challenge when he becomes king, but what if he's a thug? What if his riotous younger days aren't basically happy, skippy, la-la-la drinking and whoring, but much more brutal -- street fights, muggings, brawling, blood? It's in the text -- "riotous", "brawling". What if we're looking at a mean, tough guy who has a sort of brutal charisma, and a hair trigger? I mean, he and his buddies are involved in mugging and robbing a bunch of pilgrims -- well, his buddies do, then he and one of his other friends mug them and steal the money back.
What happens with this -- establishing him as a violent thug -- is that a lot of the other scenes later work out better. There are a bunch of scenes in HENRY V which depend on other characters not being sure how Henry will react to things -- the Ambassador from France is genuinely worried that, when he delivers the mocking message from the Dauphin, Henry's going to kill him. When the soldier who has challenged Henry when Henry was in disguise finds out who he challenged, he's genuinely afraid that Henry will have him hanged. His ultimatum to Harfleur is, "Look, guys, you can surrender now, or we can break in and rape all the women, spit the babies on pikes, and smash everybody else's heads in with rocks, and I'm kind of hoping you go for Option 2" -- and it's believable.
And when Henry gets pissed off in the battle, he has everybody murder the French POWs. Not for any good reason; just because he's pissed off -- and the French attack on the baggage train is a response to that.
Basically, I guess I'm thinking that you could do something interesting by playing the Henry plays a bit more like the Godfather -- which is kind of the same plotline, isn't it? Except with Michael Corleone having to tone DOWN his brutality to take over.