Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

robinhoodMITIMDB: Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Source: owned

Summary (excerpt from the DVD): In days of olde, when men were men, men wore tights. And none wore tights mightieror tighterthan Robin Hood! Aided by his band of merry men, Robin of Loxley wrested power from the evil Prince John, brought humiliation upon the despicable Sheriff of Rottingham and found the key to the fair Maid Marian’s heartand her chastity belt.

Review: Oh, Mel Brooks. Where do I even start? The opening credits begin as you might expect: flaming arrows and fiery letters appear on thatched roofing and proclaim that Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, and Roger Rees star as Robin Hood, Prince John, and the Sheriff of Rottingham, respectively. But toward the end, it becomes clear that these thatched roofs belong to actual villagers, and they come screaming out of their houses to curse Mel Brooks for being the last in a long line of directors who insist on burning their homes to make a cool opening sequence. It’s safe to say this sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights is basically a mash-up of Prince of Thieves (the 1991 film with Kevin Costner) and Errol Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood, with one or two references to the 1973 animated Disney version thrown in for good measure. At one point, Cary Elwes’s Robin manages to crash a feast with a wild boar (which Prince John then calls “treyf,” the Yiddish word for non-kosher food) and declare his unflagging confidence that the commoners will follow him “because, unlike some other Robin Hoods, [he] can speak with an English accent,” then proceeds to topple a host of armored knights like dominoes. Mel Brooks doesn’t care how absurd his situations get, and in fact deliberately goes out of his way to make jokes and sight gags unrelated to the Robin Hood myths. Everything is done for a laugh, and nothing is taken seriously.

Purposeful continuity errors, multiple fourth wall breakages, ridiculous musical numbers, and anachronistic humor combine to create a very silly comedic take on the classic tale as only Mel Brooks can deliver.

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