History of the World: Part I
This was originally gonna be something a bit more obscure with 'The 12 Chairs', but I thought that one should go more into the "Under the Radar" category for another time. Instead, I'm switching it up with a more well-known title, and one that falls under the "Catching Up" category, having only seen it once, over two decades ago. I will now instead be reviewing the, perhaps now extremely dated, 'History of the World: Part I'.
The film is done as an anthology, retelling various bits and pieces from the world's history, as only Mel Brooks' sense of humour can. He does like to be a bit edgy, but so much of it is surrounded by a delightfully "punny" set of jokes, or contrasting, light-hearted musical numbers, as seen here in the corner picture with a song and dance number depicting the Spanish Inquisition. Other non-musical sets include the Stone Age, the Old Testament, the Roman Empire, and the French Revolution. They're all brushed over in some sort of unique and funny way, but viewers may wanna be forewarned in this day and age of a few of those moments it was once much easier to get away with.
The best examples would include the Roman Empire segment, using a certain derogatory term for "gay man" very loosely, followed by the French Revolution segment depicting King Luis as a sex-driven pervert who proudly boasts about the benefits of being king. But, before we jump down a post-dated Brooks movie for all of this, there may very well have been a chance that these extremes were what he was going for in a farcical sense. At least when it comes to King Luis.
Even with my sight defense there, however, this just plain isn't one of Brooks' best. It's not without its moments, but I meet it about half-way. For my money, there are far more funny and enjoyable movies under his belt. At the same time, there were still a few places throughout the film that managed to give me a genuine chuckle, most of which takes place through the Stone Age and Old Testament segments. I find the film kinda peaks at the end of that, and slowly drifts downhill afterwards. Being that it's an anthology, it also makes it a bit easier to turn off without caring.
So, at the end of the day, it's not one of Mel's best. One of these days I'll open up a Mel Brooks area for my "Screening Suggestions" to show off some of his best stuff (save 'Young Frankenstein', as I covered that back in '17). But getting back to this title, it can be fun if you're in the right frame of mind, but I daresay this is probably his top contender for "most offensive" film he's done. So perhaps not a recommendation to just anyone and everyone, but if you'r not easily offended, check it out. You might still have fun.
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