I don't know movie, "zany" is a pretty big claim, are you sure he's not just "kooky?"

Three reviews in one week, I am a Monday Friday machine!

So, while settling down with Netflix to watch some random movie, I think it was going to be something of value, like "Popeye" or "Shazaam", it was suggested that I might enjoy this 1984 made for TV flick about Robin Hood, and if I didn't enjoy it by May 1st, it would be gone forever! Well, what choice did I have?

None. None choice. That is the answer.

"The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood" is a early 80's made for TV film that was, essentially "Robin Hood: Men In Tights" made while Mel Brooks was somewhere else being really, really good and they hired his special needs neighbor to fill in for him. Actually, now that I think about it, I was going to watch "To Be Or Not To Be" when this film stepped into the light, and I made a poor choice. Not the first time, not going to be the last time. Ah well.

George Segal plays the legendary Robin Hood and it is about as good as you are imagining the guy from "Just Shoot Me" playing Robin Hood would be. He is surrounded by British actors, but lacks an accent of any kind. I can't decide if that was a joke or not, although it is interesting to note that, in this regard at least, it predicted Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood" by a few years. Morgan Fairchild plays the lovely Maid Marion, once again devoid of accent, who is just going crazy being a 24 year old virgin. Roddy McDowall plays Roddy McDowall playing the evil Prince John, and the always wonderful Tom Baker plays his evil crony, Sir Guy (who I didn't know even had a gag name until I read it on IMDB today).

I actually had high hopes for this movie when I loaded it up, one of the reviews mentioned that it had a more British Humor take on the classic tale, and, with visions of "Monty Python" or "Mr. Bean" or even some guy in a dress fawning about in a high falsetto. What I got was a beta version of "Robin Hood Movie".

Much like the current crop of  "______ Movie" movies, there were very few jokes told in this film, and much more random statements and plays to popular culture. Instead of making a joke in the normal way "Set up  - Punchline - Hahas) they go with the much simpler technique of saying something modern while wearing period clothing. In one scene, Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men capture the evil Sir Guy and rob him of all his goods. Only they have no money, except, and get this, because its a joke apparently, he had a cold encrusted card with his name on it, which he holds up, and in the creepiest Tom Baker face you can imagine, proclaims that he "Never Leaves Home Without It!".

That alone isn't a joke! That is prop comedy. He might as well of put a dictionary in a bowl and called it alphabet soup. It's not funny, it takes no work, and it is a waste of perfectly good film and perfectly good actors. In fact (rant incoming in 3-2-1...

I literally cannot count down without this popping up in my head. Thanks 3rd grade.

Every part of this movie is lazy as hell. I understand it was made for TV, and that is somewhat of an excuse, but not enough of one. Lots of movies were made for TV, and they turned out OK. Mother Falcon "Roots" was made for TV. ROOTS!! Being made for TV can excuse lack of big name actors, poor special effects, and bad directing (TV directors tend to make TV movies, and, as anyone who has done both can attest to, the skill set for TV direction does not cross over to film direction, and vice versa, the two are handled differently, stories are told differently and that is certainly not a bad thing). If the only problems I had with this movie were cheap production values, bad sound and the inconceivably bad decision of continuing to give George Segall work, I wouldn't have had an issue. But that wasn't the bad parts of the movie. No the parts that ground my gears came whenever people talked, which, unfortunately happened quite often. There were almost no jokes told in the whole of the movie. There were a lot of "Haha this is a reference to modern times" jokes everywhere. and gags that you could see a mile away. Really the whole movie reeks of lazy writing, and that is inexcusable. Even jokes that were clever, such as a bard serving as a narrator, but being both a terrible singer and a terrible writer) and Robin Hood calling upon some Jewish Special Forces to break into a castle ("In and out in two and a half minutes, synchronize voices) end up falling flat because the writers never bothered to follow the joke thru to it's logical conclusion. Actors who are normally much better, such as Tom Baker, are wasted spouting half jokes that never quite get around to where they need to be to be funny, and the whole thing just feels rushed.

It wasn't all bad though, there were a few funny moments, mostly involving Baker and McDowall. And the Bard made me smile more than once, but overall the whole film felt like a quick cash grab, and for the life of me I can't figure out what it was trying to piggy back off of. Was there some sort of Robin Hood revival that happened in the early 80's? Did I just miss out on this? I just can't figure out why this movie came into being. Who green lit this? Even if it was really good and funny, why? Why make a Robin Hood movie in the 80's? More to the point, if you have nothing to say, why make a movie?

And why is Tom Baker in this? He was still active in television and theater after his tenure as the Doctor, he should have known better than to do this garbage.

All in all, I am disappointed in all of you involved. Except you Roddy McDowall, I know you will do any movie that comes your way, I can't stay mad at you. Not ever.

Any. Movie.

Rating - D

Youtube doesn't seem to have a trailer up, so head here to check it out. Or don't. It's OK if you don't.

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