Sunday, July 02, 2006

Do you have anything here besides Mexican food?

The Three Amigos is a spoof of Hollywood itself. Directed by John Landis who has also done such classic films as, Coming to America, An American Werewolf in London, and Animal House. This film is great because of its three main characters: Lucky Day (Steve Martin), Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase) and Ned Nederlander (Martin Short).

The Three Amigos are silent film stars who have just been dropped by their film studio. They receive a telegram inviting them to come to a small village in Mexico to meet with El Guapo. Thinking this is a paid appearance the trio gladly accept the invitation. But, once there, they learn that El Guapo is a nasty bandit who has been harassing the town. The Three Amigos then decide that they will save the town and become the REAL Three Amigos!

First off, this film instantly makes you think Mel Brooks but not as silly. There are some silly moments such as the Three Amigos salute or when Ned tries his hand at a joke that the others just don't get, "It's a mail plane, didn't you see its little balls?" but for the most part the film is pretty standard. For myself, the best moments of the the film are the great song and dance numbers. Watching My Little Buttercup, performed in a very rough and tough cantina is hysterical. There is also a touching cowboy melody that even the desert animals can't resist enjoying. Nor can you resist laughing at the whole scene.

The chemistry that Martin, Chase, and Short have is somewhat strong. You instantly fall in love with these unknowing heroes. These actors were and are wonderfully intelligent and artistic comedians. This film showcases this in song and dance numbers as well as the friendship that the three share. But there are some negative points to this film as well. One being the fact that the viewer doesn't know enough about these three characters. There is not enough build-up and time invested into why they are where they are in the beginning of the film. Another thing that is disturbing is the underuse of Chevy Chase. His perfomance is somewhat subdued in an otherwise wonderful opportunity to shine. Martin seems to take the lead and Short follows along blindly.

If you can get past the shortcomings of the film it really does make for a entertaining hour and a half. The film does have some great scenes such as the hilarious singing bush and the invisible swordsman. But over all the Three Amigos is reaching for that Blazing Saddle but doesn't quite get up there.

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