Robin Hood: Men In Tights

⭐⭐⭐ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: A surprisingly modern parody that feels in more in line with British fare like Monty Python than contemporary American humour, and that's definitely a positive thing.


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

I'd never seen a Mel Brooks film before, though I've heard a huge amount about them. As a result, I had decent hopes for Men In Tights, though these were tempered somewhat given the film's age (or should that be pedigree?). I tend to find comedies, in particular, age poorly, especially those deemed as influential. It would be hard to argue that isn't the case with Men In Tights, but honestly it didn't matter that much.

There are a few moments where the joke has turned into a cringe with time, others where it feels a little lacking and others still which flew straight over my head (I assume the child actor was either involved with or sending up Home Alone?). I was surprised both by how the film feels like an American attempt at Monty Python, and how much it looks like a blueprint for modern (but much worse) "parody" films in the Scary Movie vein. Somehow, though, the jokes are less overtly sexist or racist than the more modern fare. The few moments there are almost feel self-mocking, a skill which speaks well of the writing, rather than actively derogatory or simply unthinking.

In fact, the story is so heavy-handed a parody that it does make me wonder if Men In Tights is just to Prince of Thieves what Scary Movie is to Scream. There's not much in the way of nuance here, which definitely ages the film, and the few moments it does break-away are largely for a brief musical based song. These are perhaps the weirdest additions, turning the film momentarily into a musical number and largely used to introduce characters or concepts. Some, like the actual "Men in Tights" song are clever and stand up, others just feel odd (looking at you, Maid Marian).

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