Robin Hood Men in Tights (15)
Release date: 17th December 1993 (UK)
Rewatch date: 7.10.2017
From IMDB: A spoof of Robin Hood in general and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) in particular.
Robin of Locksley, known as the most skilled archer of the land, has just returned to England after fighting in the Holy Crusades, where King Richard the Lionhearted is also fighting. Robin finds that much of what he knew of England has gone to ruin, including his longtime family home having been taken away, all at the hands of the evil Prince John, Richard’s brother who has assumed the throne in Richard’s absence. Neurotic John is basically being controlled by the equally evil Sheriff of Rottingham, everything they doing to fatten their own coffers at the expense of the commoners and peasants. As such, Robin recruits a band of merry men to help him battle Prince John and the Sheriff, they who include: Blinkin, his blind longtime servant; Ahchoo, the misguided son of Asneeze, the man who helped him escape from prison while fighting in the Crusades; Little John, who seems to think that being called Little is only coincidental to the fact of he being a hulking man; and Little John’s friend, Will Scarlet O’Hara, a master with daggers. In going to the palace, Robin falls in love at first sight with Marian of Bagelle, a maid of the court. Marian is looking for the man who has the figurative and literal key to unlock her heart (and more private parts). The Sheriff has his own eyes on Marian, he who in turn is the object of desire of Latrine, a powerful hag of a sorceress of the court. Robin and the Sheriff in particular have a fight to the death mentality to achieve their end goals, which for both are protection of the throne for their trusted royal, and the heart and cherry of Maid Marian.
Let’s start strong; Cary Elwes. The dreamy, beautiful and charming Dread Pirate Roberts of the Princess Bride (1987) doesn’t seem to have aged a day in this Robin Hood send up.
He’s the perfect leading man and this film is no exception. He hits the comic notes perfectly and brings the Britishness to the spoof.
I will always love this man, and while this may never be my go-to movie of his, but I will think of it fondly.
The film has Mel Brooks’ signature jokes throughout the movie, they’re solid jokes that are comparative to Monty Python. The tone of the religious based jokes are light hearted and tactful. Something that films today could learn from.
Now, the most important thing about this film is that it’s a spoof before Scary Movie killed the genre; Men in Tights has a plot and can be followed.
Some of the jokes are rather outdated, it’s the nature of spoofs. The jokes that pack the most punch are the relevant ones. However, it does mean that they date, fast.
It’s nowhere near as good as Brooks’ previous spoof Spaceballs (1987). It might be that I’m much more of a Sci-fi girl than a fantasy one, but it doesn’t flow as easily; feeling a lot longer as a result.
Some of the jokes miss the mark completely; mainly to do with age and growth of society. Some of the jokes delve into the sleazy uncle territory and at some points it takes itself a little too seriously.
It’s a good watch for when you’re not in the mood for Monty Python or Princess Bride. It’s not as smooth as it would have come across in 1993, but there’s enough jokes to chuckle at to forget the eyebrow raising misses.