HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
   
 
  ¡Three Amigos! In Old MexicoBuy this film here.
Year: 1986
Director: John Landis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Patrice Martinez, Alfonso Arau, Tony Plana, Kai Wulff, Joe Mantegna, John Lovitz, Phil Hartman, Philip Gordon, Fred Asparagus, Norbert Weisser, Brian Thompson, Hector Elias, Hector Morales, Randy Newman
Genre: Western, Comedy
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year is 1916 and the place is rural Mexico. Carmen (Patrice Martinez) heads into a town that's slightly bigger than her own village looking for help from some men who can take care of themselves, and by extension, the villagers. This is because Carmen's home has been threatened by ruthless bandit leader El Guapo (Alfonso Arau) for some time now, and she needs a force to rid them of this blight, but when she enters the tavern, she receives nothing but sexual harrassment and flees. To cheer herself up, Carmen visits the local cinema travelling show, and onto the silver screen ride three men who she is inspired by: The Three Amigos. Lucky Day (Steve Martin), Ned Nederlander (Martin Short) and Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase) may be movie stars, but she decides after witnessing them taking on and beating bandits in the movies that they are the men for her, and so a telegram is sent to Hollywood, U.S.A....

Just exactly when was it acceptable to point out that Steve Martin wasn't funny any more? Was it well into the nineteen-nineties, or had the rot set in earlier, around say, 1986 when ¡Three Amigos! was released? Now don't get me wrong, the film has its diehard fans, but it wasn't welcomed with the same reverence at Martin's skills as his previous efforts were, and that "thinking he's clever but actually being very stupid" act was beginning to wear thin. Look only a few years earlier and you'll see The Man With Two Brains, a far more consistent comedy that showcases the comedian's talents far more engagingly; it's not that he unlikeable here - even the villains are amiable in this film - but the inspired lunacy has been replaced with something far milder here.

Working from a script by Martin, onetime Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels and singer-songwriter Randy Newman, the unbowing innocence of the Amigos is it's distinguishing feature, but also a drawback as it grows tiresome fairly quickly. After seeing them in their silent movie, we next visit them debating a salary rise with producer Joe Mantegna who is unhappy that their previous opus, a marked departure in plot, was a resounding flop. With this in mind, he proposes a return to what audiences want to see them in, but when Lucky, speaking for the three of them, demands a pay rise, they are not only shown the door but lose their clothes and mansion house as well. It just so happens that the telegram arrives as they're standing in the street looking forlorn, and they believe it to be a big money personal appearance down Mexico way, not realising that they're being hired to fight bandits.

If this sounds familiar, it's not only because it's based on The Magnificent Seven, but also because Pixar lifted the idea for their animation A Bug's Life over ten years later, only they handled it better. It takes almost half the film for our blissfully unaware heroes to twig that their lives are in danger, as in the meantime they think that they are instantly recognisable as celebrities even though hardly anyone is interested. And when Lucky is shot in the arm by one of El Guapo's men, the penny drops and they flee, leaving the villagers to fend for themselves. However, when the Amigos learn that Carmen has been kidnapped, they have an attack of conscience and make up their minds to save her. Would this have been better as a musical? Newman contributes songs to the soundtrack, and the too few scenes where the stars sing are rare highlights (although the singing bush could do without its own number). But largely the laughs are restricted to the odd chuckle, as with the "Throw down your guns" business, and ¡Three Amigos! is desperately bland: Sam Kinison was cut out of this and perhaps he would have woken everyone up a bit if he'd been left in.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 9441 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John Landis  (1950 - )

American writer-director who made a big splash in the comedy genre, starting with The Kentucky Fried Movie, Animal House and The Blues Brothers. An American Werewolf in London was an innovative blend of comedy and horror, and remains his best film.

Mega-hit Trading Places followed, but after a tragic accident on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie, Landis' talent seemed to desert him, and he offered up some increasingly unimpressive comedies. He returned briefly to horror with Innocent Blood, and after a long spell away helmed Brit comedy Burke and Hare; he also directed Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and "Black or White" videos.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: