Robin of Locksley, known as the most skilled archer of the land, has just returned to England after fighting in the Holy Crusades, where King Richard the Lionhearted is also fighting. Robin finds that much of what he knew of England has gone to ruin, including his longtime family home having been taken away, all at the hands of the evil Prince John, Richard's brother who has assumed the throne in Richard's absence. Neurotic John is basically being controlled by the equally evil Sheriff of Rottingham, everything they doing to fatten their own coffers at the expense of the commoners and peasants. As such, Robin recruits a band of merry men to help him battle Prince John and the Sheriff, they who include: Blinkin, his blind longtime servant; Ahchoo, the misguided son of Asneeze, the man who helped him escape from prison while fighting in the Crusades; Little John, who seems to think that being called Little is only coincidental to the fact of he being a hulking man; and Little John's ... Written by
Any of you remember a little TV series Mel wrote and created called "When Things were Rotten", starring Dick Gautier as our man Robin? I do, and the series reran in my mind many times while watching Mel's big-screen take.
I guess he had to do this to take a few shots at Kevin Costner's "Prince of Thieves", but this one also takes aim at and makes points of reference to "White Men Can't Jump", Bruce Lee films, Larry King, seders and even brings out the reserves from Mel's projects of yore (McCann, Van Patten, De Luca, De Luise).
Some gags work, some don't but as always, Mel tries. Too bad he's working under the restrictions of that darned PG rating. What Mel could have done in his heyday with an R rated "Robin Hood"! Though admittedly, the finale of Robin's (Elwes') serenade to Maid Marian (Yasbeck) earns big laughs. Loved finding out the first name of the Sheriff of Rottingham (Rees), as well. You will, too.
As I've said before, any Mel is good Mel. If you've seen any Robin Hood movie, good. You'll get a lot of the references here. Even with the Mafia connections, hot tubs, and the new Club for horses.
Five stars. Bless you!
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