Movie Review: Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

Starring: Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis and Amy Yasbeck

Directed by: Mel Brooks

A parody of the classic tale of Robin Hood who stands up against the oppressive Prince John while King Richard is away on the Crusades.

Once upon a time if you saw Mel Brooks attached to a movie you were in for a treat. He’s directed two of my all time favourite comedies; Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs so I was happy to finally get around to watching Robin Hood: Men in Tights. While the Robin Hood story has been told time and time again both in the form of movies and tv series, this was a different take on a classic story that I was looking forward to seeing how it panned out.

Unfortunately Robin Hood: Men in Tights didn’t come close to meeting my expectations considering Mel Brooks’ track record of movies. While there were flashes of brilliance at times in terms of comedy a lot of the jokes fell flat and most of the one liners weren’t able to get me to crack the smallest of smiles. While I enjoyed the performances of Cary Elwes as Robin Hood and Roger Rees as the Sheriff of Rottingham the rest of the cast were very forgettable and mediocre. Richard Lewis as Prince John was the worst, hated his portrayal as the Prince and didn’t understand why his mole kept changing places, really didn’t understand why that was necessary to include in the story.

This portrayal of Robin Hood still includes all of the traditional story arcs that go into the story that we all love and know. Oppressive Prince John, the conniving Sheriff of Nottingham, archery competition, stealing taxes to give to the poor and Robin Hoods love angle with Maid Marian. With this movie being a parody of the most recent depiction of Robin Hood at the time (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) it fails as both comedy and being an enjoyable Robin Hood story.

To conclude, Robin Hood: Men in Tights has glimpses of comedic genius but it’s far too sporadic to make this a thoroughly enjoyable spoof comedy. I think regardless of how many variations the Robin Hood story receives my favourite will always be the animated version created by Disney.


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