Robin Hood: Men in Tights
I am in a comedic mood today so we are going for a funny movie for Film Friday. Robin Hood: Men in Tights is a MEL BROOKS flick, I could probably leave the review at that… freakin’ Mel Brooks!
Robin Hood: As my first order of business, I would like to appoint a new Sheriff… my friend Ahchoo.
Crowd: A black sheriff?
Blinkin: He’s black?
Ahchoo: And why not? It worked in Blazing Saddles.
This is the Robin Hood story told through the creative lens of Mel Brooks. Spoofing the Errol Flynn, Kevin Kostner and many other versions of the Robin Hood story but the Kostner / Prince of Thieves storyline is the focus. Here is a break down of the plot – There Be Spoilers!
Robin is off fighting the crusades and gets captured. He breaks out of prison and swims back to England. In England he meets Ahchoo, the son of his cellmate in prison, Ahchoo becomes his confidant throughout the movie. We also soon meet our antagonists (Prince John, the Sheriff of Rottingham and Latrine). From here Robin builds his group of Merry Men starts robbing from the rich to give to the poor and there is a final archery contest at the castle and of course the ultimate mass fight at the end of the movie. Robin ends up with Marion and King Richard makes an appearance.
Carey Elwes – Robin Hood – This role was written for Carey Elwes. He has that perfect amount of smugness, dry British humor and ability to look in the camera and make it work that the role requires. On top of that, he does not take himself too seriously. Funny guy in a very funny role and of course this is second mention here on Film Fridays – The Princess Bride.
Because, unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent.
Dave Chappelle – Ahchoo – By far my favorite cgharacter in the whole movie. I am a huge Dave Chappelle fan and he is wonderful in the role of Ahchoo. There are some great plays-on-words in this flick and Ahchoo has a number of them. His Malcolm X speech is spot on.
Let’s get out of this ladies clothing and get into our tights!
Richard Lewis – Prince John – Richard freakin’ Lewis! Funny guy… His deadpan delivery and self deprecating humor is perfect in the role of Prince John.
Tell everyone that when the day is out we shall have a wedding. Or a hanging. Either way, we’re gonna have a lot of fun, huh?
Mark Blankenfield – Blinkin – Equally as cheesy a character as Ahchoo but Blinkin is funny as hell. My favorite scene is when he is on lookout duty in Sherwood Forest. He is asked what he is doing and he says he is guessing that no one is coming. Almost a spit take every single time.
The Final Battle between Robin and Rottingham – I like the fight scene but the break in the illusion when they fight into the camera crew is not nearly as funny as you would hope. It was like they needed an extra ‘beat’ in the material and they didn’t have another joke.
Two of the three songs – Marion’s first song and the song between Robin and Marion are lame. Without them, I think the movie has a little bit better flow.
All in all, this is one of the Brooks-ian movies that I can watch over and over. Funny movie with some very memorable lines, Errol Flynn era costumes and lots of great characters. If, for whatever reason, you have not seen this movie, drop what you do and go find it now.