Monday Movie: ¡Three Amigos!, by Sarah Brinks
¡¡Three Amigos! is a classic 1980’s comedy starring some of the best comedians of our time: Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short. This is one of those films that defined my childhood and my sense of humor. The premise of the film is that three silent film stars of a series of films about three wealthy Spanish land owners called the “Three Amigos” are mistaken for real heroes and hired by a small Mexican village to stop an evil crime lord from terrorizing them. The Amigos think it is a real acting gig, when in fact it is a real cry for help. Hilarity, of course, ensues.
Part of what makes ¡Three Amigos! such a classic is setting it in the early 1900’s. It never feels dated because it is already in the past, admittedly a few of the jokes are outdated. Another part of what makes ¡Three Amigos! a classic is the way it highlights its stars. Each one of them have their own “Amigo” talent such as rope tricks, guitar playing, and quick-draw. They also each get their moment to shine comically throughout the film. There are also several songs and one great song and dance performance of “My Little Buttercup” in a rough-and-tumble cantina that is laugh out loud funny.
The film works in a couple different ways. It is a comedy first and foremost, but it is also a decent entry into the “Western/cowboy” genre. The film has plenty of action, adventure, and gun play. A few other stand out performances are Alfonso Aura as El Guapo, the bad guy who is terrorizing Santa Poco. Aura has some great line deliveries and is a good counterbalance to the Amigos. Tony Plana as Jefe is El Guapo’s number two and he also gets some fun lines and decent action scenes. The film was written by Steve Martin and SNL’s Lorne Michaels and was directed by the prolific film maker John Landis who also directed The Blues Brothers and Animal House. If this film has somehow passed you by and you want a good laugh, ¡Three Amigos! is a great watch.