There is a line in Men in Tights where Cary Elwes states that he is the only Robin Hood who can do an authentic English accent. As much as this is a very throwaway and not too clever little gag, it does outline the best aspect of Men in Tights, Elwes is a good Robin Hood. Swashbuckling, handsome, convincing in the classic garb and for this movie particularly, he is funny. Unfortunately, so much of this movie doesn’t follow suit.
Mel Brooks has made a collection of comedies which parody some of the classics and Robin Hood is a character ripe for parody. He is a rich man turned thief who spends his time in the forest with other men… wearing tights. Some gags, although dated, write themselves. There has also been so many Robin Hood movies that they begin to become parodies of each other and some of the little digs at Prince of Thieves raise a smile. The issue is, not enough of the gags hit.
Brook’s comedies throw as many jokes at the screen as possible and see what sticks. If a joke doesn’t land, it shouldn’t matter because the next joke will and you will remain entertained. Unfortunately, not enough of the jokes in Men in Tights are funny. The movie suffers from being childish, obvious and worst of all, dated. It hasn’t aged well, relying on some random cultural references and jokes we have seen before but better.
There is the occasional moment which lands and when this does the movie raises a smile but you won’t find yourself rolling in the aisles. It does also take some clever liberties with the Robin Hood story, poking fun where it deserves to be poked but this isn’t done well enough to save the film.
Overall, Men in Tights has plenty of material it could of mocked and parodied but it is a victim of its own period. It has become dated and not enough of the large joke rate land. The occasional moment will raise a smile but you do wonder if Elwes could have been a great Robin Hood in a better Robin Hood movie.
Rating – 2
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)
As always get in touch below with a comment but also like our page on Facebook (Views from the Sofa) or follow us on Twitter – @viewsfromsofa