HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
   
 
  Robin Hood: Men in Tights Straight Arrow Fellow
Year: 1993
Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Cary Elwes, Richard Lewis, Roger Rees, Amy Yasbeck, Mark Blankfield, Dave Chappelle, Isaac Hayes, Megan Cavanagh, Eric Allan Kramer, Matthew Porretta, Tracey Ullman, Patrick Stewart, Dom DeLuise, Dick Van Patten, Robert Ridgely, Mel Brooks, Clive Revill
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Once the opening credits are over and the villagers complain that their village is always being burned down by flaming arrows in these situations, some rapping Merrie Men appear and outline the plot, basically Robin Hood (Cary Elwes) is in a Jerusalem prison having been captured by the enemy during the Crusades he went on with King Richard. Meanwhile, back in England the evil brother of the King, Prince John (Richard Lewis) has the land in the grip of his iron fist, assisted by the wicked Sheriff of Rottingham (Roger Rees), and nobody can stand up to them. What they need is for Robin of Loxley to return home and bring down the authorities, but that may be difficult when there appears to be no way out of the dungeon. Or is there?

Writer and director Mel Brooks had tried out the Robin Hood parodies before on his brief television series When Things Were Rotten, but evidently with the fresh popularity of the legendary character thanks to Kevin Costner adopting the role in Prince of Thieves he was moved to dust off his old ideas and spruce them up for the nineteen-nineties. That was a decade not too kind to Brooks as he failed to elicit the same fan following to his movies as he had in years previous, and he took a beating from the tastemakers after this effort with most accusing him of having lost it, "it" being the power to make his audience laugh. However, if you were put off by that reaction, perhaps it was time to give Men in Tights another chance.

For a start, it was actually a musical, not that it was advertised as such and the songs are well-spaced apart, but you were offered a variety of tunes at a time when the genre was more or less persona non grata in the arena of the major movie, outside of the animated features. You had the title tune emphasising the unintentional camp of, well, manly men donning green, close-fitting legwear, you had Maid Marian (Amy Yasbeck) trilling a ballad in the bath only interrupted by the camera breaking the window (a favourite Brooks gag), you had Robin himself booming out a Nelson Eddy-style confession of love which blasts Marian in the face, and so on, not forgetting those raps included as a reference to every Hollywood movie of the day featuring one in an attempt to pander, even when they were inappropriate.

But those more up to date jokes were contrasted with a plethora of humour that was best described as comfortable, the amusement suggesting the person enjoying this most was Brooks himself. Yet as determinedly silly, even groanworthy, as the quips and parodies got, it was clear he had been sold short by those who criticised his Robin Hood back in 1993, since there were many moments that had you laughing out loud assuming you were willing to indulge him, and yourself. Helping was Elwes in the title role, boasting of his authentic English accent and cutting quite the dash as the debonair Robin, more a spoof of Errol Flynn than Costner, suggesting Brooks had more affection for the classic Hollywood version than the nineties upstarts.

But then, everyone was happy to play along as if well aware these were not the most cutting edge jokes you would ever hear, but they were going to play them to the hilt because one slip that it wasn't anything but a movie nobody was intended to take seriously would have doomed it. Dave Chappelle echoed Cleavon Little as the deliberately anachronistic Morgan Freeman-esque Merrie Man, there were extended cameos from the likes of Dom DeLuise (doing his old standby, the Marlon Brando in The Godfather impersonation - why not? He was good at it!), Tracey Ullman buried under makeup as the mad witch, and so it went on, each performer wheeled on to do their party piece as if in a feature length television variety show on a holiday weekend. Fair enough, some of the humour was a shade bluer, with much mileage from Marian's form-fitting chastity belt, but a lot was simply cheerily stupid, referencing pop culture, being blithely crude, allowing the likes of Rees to winningly chew the scenery - it all served the common cause of being funny. No classic, but good enough. Music by Hummie Man.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1523 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: