This’ll be a short one, as as shocking as (That actually makes sense, wow!) this may seem, ¡Three Amigos! isn’t exactly what some would call “deep.”
This parody-esque homage to spaghetti westerns and rootin’-tootin’, gun-slinging scallywags stars three SNL alumni, directed by the guy who did Animal House, and co-written by Lorne Michaels, creator of SNL. So, chances are, if one likes old-school SNL, they would enjoy this film tremendously. It never takes itself seriously, goes for broke in terms of story, and pokes fun every step of the way. The best thing one can say about the experience is that it’s harmless. A comfortable ride from beginning to end; should one laugh, that’d be a bonus.
Comedy seems to be a forte for these SNL stars. They have a nice chemistry with one another and perform their roles to the best of their abilities. Except Chevy Chase, who doesn’t seem to be having any fun whatsoever. The thing is, the film, while exuding a funny atmosphere, is never really all that funny. It has a lot of build-up, while attributing a lot to misunderstandings and breaking tense situations with awkward behavior. There’s some quick vocal jabs, goofy intuition, over-acting, and a little bit of irony. As a comedy, it’s incredibly varied, which bodes well for those looking for an assortment of flavors. Whether it’s “LOL” funny or otherwise is debatable, but there’s definitely a happy atmosphere about the piece that’s charming in itself.
What makes the film so inconsequential is its inability to extend its narrative or character past the point of cliché. One has seen the progression of plot that ¡Three Amigos! incorporates by the age of four. Its characters have nice faces, but they’re not outside the realm of what’s been done before. Effort is an important aspect of movie-making, and while (some of) the actors do their job, the writing is just not tolerable for veterans. Part of this can be contributed to the fact that the film doesn’t do more than it has to, as the point of an “homage” is to stay in line with what is being mirrored. To some extent, the story is excusable. When the characters only have so much personality and the comedy doesn’t execute, there’s just nothing else there. The action scenes aren’t all that dazzling, either.
What’s said before is the most that can be said: it’s harmless. It has a nice atmosphere and some good performances by Short and Martin. It’s a film one should watch after a deeply philosophical think-piece that tires the brain. It would be exaggerated to call the film brainless, but it doesn’t do much more than what it has to, and even then the film is pretty mediocre. Predictability is the key flaw, particularly for me, so if one isn’t bothered by watching the same ol’ same old, ¡Three Amigos! could be a particularly cozy Saturday-night popcorn flick.
Final Score: 4.5/10
The rating for all other films can be found on my IMDb account.
For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!