¡THREE AMIGOS! (1986)

PrintE-mail Written by Courtney Button

Cast your mind back to 1986. The first episodes of Casualty and Catchphrase aired on television. Europe, The Bangles, and Cutting Crew were in the charts. Steve Martin was still funny. Martin Short was getting actual starring roles. Chevy Chase had starred in some of his best films. Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Shelby: The Dog Who Saved Christmas and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause weren’t even a twinkle in a cynical film producer’s eyes. It was also the year that ¡Three Amigos! Was released. It seems like a long time ago.

1913, The Mexican town of Santa Poco is under constant threat from the infamous El Guapo. After seeing them at a travelling cinema, Carmen (Patrice Martinez), writes to Hollywood to enlist the help of Lucky Day (Steve Martin), Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase) and Ned Nedelander (Martin Short) also known as the Three Amigos, to save the town. Unfortunately, the trio are out of work actors rather than the heroic heroes that Carmen believes them to be.

¡Three Amigos! is your typical fish out of water/gross misunderstanding comedy. It basically recreates the plot of The Magnificent Seven but with more jokes and slightly more dancing. Galaxy Quest would go on to use the same plot but in the science fiction genre and arguably better and more intelligently, thirteen years later. Martin, Short and Chase are a lot of fun as the three out of work actors, mining physical comedy, and one-liners for all their laughs. They stick out in the old west with their giant sombreros and -rhinestone-studded costumes. Their entertainment talent is well above their combined intelligence and they win you over with their camp rendition of My Little Buttercup and their strange and slightly inappropriate salute. It is a gleefully silly movie, although perhaps not quite as out there as films like The Man With Two Brains and The Jerk, and it’s difficult not to enjoy a film with lines like ‘We can take a walk and you can kiss me on the veranda.’ ‘Oh, the lips will be fine.’

We think that ¡Three Amigos! is remembered fondly rather than thought of as a classic. Its jokes are amusing but the film does lack a high gag rate that it should have. Also, at an hour and forty minutes, it is a bit longer than it really needs to be.

¡Three Amigos! Can’t rightly be considered anyone’s best work but it is a generally entertaining comedy which is a perfect light watch for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

¡THREE AMIGOS! / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: JOHN LANDIS / SCREENPLAY: STEVE MARTIN, LORNE MICHAELS, RANDY NEWMAN / STARRING: STEVE MARTIN, CHEVY CHASE, MARTIN SHORT, JON LOVITZ / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW


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