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"Do you know what 'nada' means?" "Isn't that a light chicken gravy?"
HBO / 105 Minutes / 1986 / Rated PG / Street Date: November 22, 2011
"You will die like dogs!"
The story of three silent film stars (Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short) who are inadvertently summoned to help a small Mexican village from the grip of the IN-famous El Guapo was a fairly sizable hit when it was released to theaters for Christmas of 1986. What surprised me recently was watching the Saturday Night Live twenty-fifth anniversary special when the three presented a segment with one of them dressed in full Amigos regalia. I'm sorry, but the movie was never THAT big a hit. But here we are, thirteen-years later and it's being used for material like it's Ghostbusters.
Another revelation I had when watching the movie again for this review is that Chevy Chase is just not funny. He's had his moments, notably the Vacation movies and Fletch, but inherently he is not funny. With good material he can be, but without it he's lost.
It's ironic that he was the first to leave Saturday Night Live for big screen success because he can get really lost up there. Watching the scene where the Amigos start to cry, you can see how forced his comedy really is. Steve Martin and Martin Short can carry it off and make it amusing while Chase is so obvious that it's embarrassing.
Three Amigos was also notable as one of the last John Landis movies that actually did anything for anyone (Coming to America was probably his last), although you get the feel from Three Amigos! that it really is a low-budget film with not much flash to it. From a good script by Martin, Lorne Michaels and songwriter Randy Newman, Amigos has enough funny moments to make it all worthwhile but it does feel like it wasn't really anyone proudest moment. Many of you will no doubt disagree with me and consider it a classic but you have to remember that Christmas 1986 was also the same year that brought on the Eddie Murphy hit The Golden Child and looking back at that one, I'm not sure why that was ever even made. Maybe our collective tastes have risen?