Can this one-joke spoof possibly be from the same man who gave us The Producers
, Blazing Saddles
and Young Frankenstein
? Sadly, the answer is yes. Mel Brooks treads water shamelessly with Robin Hood: Men in Tights
and the few laughs to be had depend almost entirely on mocking Kevin Costner's earnest blockbuster Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
from two years earlier ("Unlike some other Robin Hoods, I can speak with an English accent", boasts Cary Elwes' Robin). Not only is this far too easy a target for a skit, but the single-film parody concept is stretched way too thin over an entire movie (Brooks elected to repeat the trick with 1995's Dracula: Dead and Loving It
). Elwes models his portrayal on Errol Flynn, but only infrequently gets to have fun with the legend: in the climactic sword fight, for example, the shadow play of Flynn and Basil Rathbone's sheriff is affectionately parodied, but such moments are few and far between. Brooks regular Dom DeLuise chips in with a Marlon Brando impersonation, but everyone else is simply taking off characters from the Costner movie: Patrick Stewart even gives us his best Sean Connery impression as a Scottish Richard I. Brooks himself does his stock Jewish act, this time as Rabbi Tuckman; Isaac Hayes has a small cameo in the Morgan Freeman part but seems to think Jerusalem is in Africa; while his on-screen son (David Chappelle) makes the mistake of reminding the audience of what they are missing: "A black sheriff? Why not, it worked in Blazing Saddles
". Indeed it did.
On the DVD: Precious few extras here, just a small behind the scenes feature and trailer. But the anamorphic picture looks good. --Mark Walker
Mel Brooks wrote and directed this spoof of 'Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves'. Having escaped from prison in North Africa, Robin of Locksley (Cary Elwes) swims back to the mainland to return to his family castle in England. Alongside his cohorts Ahchoo and Asneeze, he attempts to defeat the evil sheriff of Rottingham and find the key to Maid Marion's chastity belt.