íThree Amigos! (1986)

DVD Cover (HBO Studios)
Genres: Comedy, Comedy Western, Farce, Parody / Spoof
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John Landis John Landis
Steve Martin Steve Martin
Chevy Chase Chevy Chase
Martin Short Martin Short
Alfonso Arau Alfonso Arau
Tony Plana Tony Plana

6.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: June 10, 2007
Back before Martin Short was Jiminy Glick... before Steve Martin was Inspector Clouseau... before Chevy Chase was bankrupt and after John Landis was a murderer -- that's when "Three Amigos!" was born. Made in 1986, the film has the feel of a classic 1980's comedy, like "Stripes" or "Caddyshack" or "Spies Like Us". It has that same group of former Saturday Night Live comedians coupled with the occasional serious actor. It has a ridiculous and fantastical storyline that makes the 'high comedy' even more workable. I remember watching this film all of the time when I was younger and finding it funnier and funnier each and every time I saw it again.

The premise is simple -- silent films stars The Three Amigos -- Lucky Day (Steve Martin), Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase) and Ned Nederlander (Martin Short) -- are fired from their gig as actors and receive an urgent letter from a woman in the Mexican village of Santa Poco. She saw the Amigos on the movie screen and thinks that what they did in their films was real -- saving villages and young maidens from the clutches of horrible villains. The Amigos agree to go to the village and rid the town of the terrible El Guapo (Alfonso Arau), thinking that this is a publicity stunt and that they will be paid. So, it's a classic comic set-up of mistaken identity and mistaken intentions. The Amigos are pampered stars and have no idea how to fight, and especially fight and win.

Despite the humor that comes from three talented comedians like Martin, Chase and Short -- some of the humor is way out there, like when they accidentally shoot the invisible gunman. There is also a sing-a-long under the stars where the animals join in. The film is over-the-top on purpose and a lot of that humor worked on me as a child. Less of it works today but "Three Amigos!" still hits most of its bullseyes. Steve Martin is especially inspired as the leader of the group, Lucky Day. Just watch the expression on his face -- priceless. Martin Short is also extra fancy as Ned Nederlander, who's supposed to be the toughest of the lot. The funniest scene in the film comes in the desert as Chevy Chase drinks the last few drops from his canteen as the other amigos watch in despair. If nothing else, the film reminds us that Chevy Chase had a career for a reason -- he used to be funny.

This is probably one of my favorite 1980's comedies because it is so different. The humor is so exaggerated and works on a multitude of different levels. From the stuff in Hollywood -- with Joe Montegna as a very serious studio President and Phil Hartman as his assistant -- to the scene in the bar where the Amigos entertain the customers at the local dive -- "Three Amigos!" is a one of a kind comedic experience. I miss comedies like this, that don't offend anyone, only want to make the audience laugh and have no other ulterior motives. They don't make them like that anymore, and it's a shame. You can find this film in the $5.50 bin at Wal-Mart from time to time, or you can get it at Best Buy for $7.99 -- I think it makes a fine addition to any collection. 8/10.
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