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¡Three Amigos!

Posted by martinteller on March 10, 2014

Just a quickie review tonight, don’t have a whole lot to say about this one… and besides, after that epic-length (for me) review of House Party, I’m kind of tapped out.  This is one of those movies that came out when I was a youngster but it seems like I’m the only one of my era who never saw it (see also: Top Gun, Back to the Future II or Dirty Dancing).  So it was nice to catch up with what counts as a cultural touchstone for many of my peers, even a cult classic in some circles.  For me, it was a pretty mixed bag, with no superlatives on either side of the fence.  A lot of the gags fell flat with me, and at times the editing seemed off… cutting away from a joke too soon, or leaving an odd space where a joke would have fit in nicely.  A number of the gags are too clearly telegraphed.  Some just didn’t amuse me in that way that’s hard to criticize because comedy is so subjective.  But I feel there’s something a little too uninspired about the comedy, and wonder if Landis was still reeling too much from the Twilight Zone tragedy to trust his instincts.

If you’d asked me which of the three stars I thought was the funniest, I’d have gone with Chevy Chase for his work on Fletch.  I would have put Martin Short last.  In this film, however, Short’s goofiness is welcome.  The movie actually needs more of his absurdity.  Chase, on the other hand, feels miscast, his particular comic sensibilities not connecting much with the material.  Surprisingly, the funniest parts of the picture involve El Guapo (Alfonso Arau) and his posse of baddies.  Biggest laugh of the night for me was the “plethora” discussion with Jefe (Tony Plana).

Right now I’m regretting how I set up my silly rating scale.  I wouldn’t honestly call it a “poor” film but putting it in the 60’s feels a little too high.  I didn’t hate watching it, it was an okay diversion.  Nothing about it got on my nerves.  It just didn’t tickle me very much, and none of the other aspects of the movie made up for the lack of laughs.  File under “not my cup of tea”.  Rating: Poor (58)


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