HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Night Raiders
Samourai, Le
Advent Calendar, The
Champion
Merchant of Four Seasons, The
Love of Jeanne Ney, The
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
   
 
Newest Articles
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
   
 
  ¡Three Amigos! In Old Mexico
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, ComedyBuy from Amazon
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 12022 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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: