Monday, 23 May 2016

Three Amigos! (1986)

John Landis’ 1986 comedy comes to UK Blu-ray courtesy of 101 Films.
While Hollywood’s silent movie era reaches the peak of its popularity, the tiny Mexican town of Santa Poco is being terrorised by the evil El Guapo (Alfonso Arau) and his gang. Sneaking into a church, Carmen (Patrice Martinez) happens upon a screening of the latest movie to feature Lucky Day (Steve Martin), Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase) and Ned Nederlander (Martin Short). Together they are the THREE AMIGOS, fighting injustice and righting wrongs. 

Unfortunately, Carmen thinks they’re for real, and a cheap telegram later had called on them for help. Meanwhile in Hollywood the actors playing the amigos have fallen on hard times and eagerly accept the invitation to come and ‘perform’ in Mexico. When they get there, it tales a while for them to realise that they are the only ones not taking the threat to the village seriously.

One of numerous projects originally written for Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi (which included GHOSTBUSTERS and SPIES LIKE US), THREE AMIGOS still manages to be pretty funny despite studio interference excising 18 minutes of footage and a trio of leads who never really exhibit any ensemble chemistry. 

         The script, by Steve Martin, producer Lorne Michaels and composer Randy Newman (who supplies the songs) keeps act one and most of act two on the straight and narrow, and then veers off with the singing bush and invisible swordsman bit (did someone else write this?) before getting back to ‘normal’ again. 

Nobody here is at their career best, but no-one is at their worst either. Unfortunately 101’s disc has no extras, in particular the cut 18 minutes of footage that eliminated a couple of subplots (and kept the amigos in Hollywood rather longer) is not here. You can find it on the US Blu-ray which is Region A locked. 

That said, 101 Films’ Blu-ray looks great, and the exterior location work (of which there is lots) benefits nicely from the transfer. If you’re looking for something from the heyday of 1980s Hollywood comedy this is going to pass the time nicely for you.

THREE AMIGOS! is out on Blu-ray from 101 Films on Monday 23rd May 2016

1 comment:

  1. Good review John. I read a John Landis biography last year and, not having seen this film since the 80s, bought it on DVD (I got "Into The Night" at the same time - love that film!). It wasn't as good as I remembered (the invisible man was a key point for me which shows how little I retained) and I thought it was too slow paced, but the leads were good fun (even if, as you say, they curiously lack chemistry, bearing in mind they all knew each other in real life).