Anthony's Film Review
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Mel Brooks turns a classic English legend upside down with funny results...
Mel Brooks is like someone who is untrustworthy with remodeling and renovating a house. With some of his films, he takes a genre, tears it apart, leaves the basic framework, and puts his own material onto it so that the result is shaped the same but provokes a totally different response. He's done it so far with Star Wars ("Spaceballs"), Westerns ("Blazing Saddles"), Dracula ("Dracula: Dead and Loving It"), and even James Bond (the TV sitcom "Get Smart"). As long as he's alive, no classic story is immune to being recreated in a silly way.
Robin Hood: Men in Tights is the Mel Brooks version of The Adventures of Robin Hood and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. First, he takes the classic legend of a hero leading a band of merry men, robbing from the rich, giving to the poor, wooing a beautiful maiden, and facing an evil adversary while the king is away. Then he demolishes it. The result is a story that now features a hero leading a band of quirky men in tights and wooing a maiden who is a virgin wearing a chastity belt with the Everlast logo on it, concealing the greatest "treasure" in all the land. The story begins with Robin of Locksley (Cary Elwes) escaping a prison, swimming across the English channel, and reaching home. He finds that with heavy taxation, his home is being towed away, leaving a blind man sitting on a toilet while exposed.
This is the kind of humor you'll find in this Robin Hood spoof. Consider another funny scene where Robin meets Little John, who's actually several inches taller. Robin has to pay a toll to cross a bridge spanning a three-inch-wide stream. Once he refuses, the two get into a duel involving wooden staves that are broken in half several times. All of this instead of jumping across the river, which, as Robin's sidekick Ahchoo puts it, isn't exactly the Mississippi River.
Other characters include the Sheriff of Rottingham (not Nottingham), Prince John, Rabbi Tuckman (not Friar Tuck, who is Christian), and an ugly woman named Latrine in situations involving an archery contest paying tribute to the Robin Hood fox in the Disney movie, guillotine circumcisions, a catapult accident, and a climactic swordfight that momentarily crosses the fourth wall. Throw in a dance number involving the merry men, a phallic sword gag, and other jokes and you have a movie that will make you laugh at the classic legend.
This movie is funny enough to spend one and a half hours of your time. It's not as funny as his earlier films, but it's all right. When you're watching a Mel Brooks film, you're not supposed to use your intelligence. Hell, if you have no intelligence, that's not a problem. Mel Brooks has only one purpose for making a movie: making you laugh. I sure did with Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
For more information about Robin Hood: Men in Tights, visit the Internet Movie Database.