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"Well folks, we're either going to have a wedding, or a hanging...either way we ought to have a lot of fun, huh?"
on February 15, 2015
Funny but far too sequenced comedy from Mel Brooks warrants a review due to the wonderful comic performance of Richard Lewis, whose amusingly effective parody of the Prince John baddie-type is worth the admission price alone. The rest of the cast does quite well in general, but the script that they are given is a true hit-and-miss affair (a clichéd phrase, but appropriate here). However, the rest of the film is made up of moderately funny periodic moments, some of which stick in the mind, others of which fall reasonably flat, but I can say that this film will stand the test of time far better than the Kevin Costner interpretation which it is unabashedly inspired by. Although it is only me nit-picking as a critic, I must point out that the scripts for Brooks's films are typically constructed of spare parts taken from outrageous jokes, humorous sight gags, and various knee-slappers that ultimately add up to feature-length movies that end up feeling merely like a bunch of juvenile skits tied together (rather than a more mature approach to comedy in which the humor is built into the story, Brooks's movies are full-tilt parody from first frame to the last). Although to my taste the film is only intermittently successful, I still appreciate a lot of the movie's humor. But it's not quite as successful as the earlier Mel Brooks comedy films overall. Again, it seems to me that Mel is more valuable as a producer (and maybe screenwriter) than he is as a director, but when the public comes to expect such shenanigans from him as a filmmaker, what else can he do really? Finally, after the devastating cancellation of his short-lived 1970s TV show "When Things Were Rotten", Mel Brooks has been able to restore his vision of Robin Hood to the cinematic world once and for all. C+