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¡Three Amigos! (PG)
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This came out in 1986. I'm sure I must have first seen it on video sometime in the 80s, and then didn't see it again until 2015, on DVD. I remembered liking it, but not much more than that. And... watching it now for the second time, I liked it about as much as I expected to. Which is to say, I found it reasonably amusing and nostalgic. I guess.

It's set in 1916. There are these three silent film actors: Lucky Day (Steve Martin), Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase), and Ned Nederlander (Martin Short), who play a trio of heroes called the Three Amigos. In Mexico, there's a woman named Carmen, who is looking for men to defend her village against a group of banditos led by El Guapo. She sees the Three Amigos in one of their movies, and thinks they're real heroes, so she sends a telegram asking them to come to Santo Poco. Due in part to the actors being stupid and in part to Carmen not having enough money to send a telegram with enough words to make her intention clear, the actors believe they're just supposed to come put on a show. And they are quite willing to do this, because the head of the studio has just thrown them out on the street after Lucky made some demands that would seem tame by today's standards, but by 1916 standards were presumably outrageous. (The thing I remembered best about the movie, from the first time I saw it, was that the telegram called El Guapo "infamous," and the actors thought that meant "incredibly famous.") Incidentally, the movie is supposed to be loosely based on "The Seven Samurai" and "The Magnificent Seven," which I haven't seen, but know enough about in a vague way to see the similarity. However, the premise reminds me more of things I saw later, most notably Galaxy Quest.

Anyway... Lucky, Dusty, and Ned arrive in a village near Santo Poco. It's the village where Carmen had originally gone looking for help, but I'm pretty sure she named her own village in the telegram, so I'm not sure why the Amigos went there instead of directly to Santo Poco, but whatever. Also arriving in that village shortly before the Amigos was a German arms dealer, who would later be joined by a couple of associates. This leads to a very predictable and ridiculous misunderstanding among the locals. (And incidentally, while I don't feel that the movie has enough songs to really qualify as a musical, it does have a few, all written by Randy Newman. One of them is "My Little Buttercup," which as far as I can tell was written specifically for this movie. But I find that surprising, because I could have sworn it existed long before this. In fact, it seems to me like something I totally could have seen existing in reality in the era when the movie is set.) Anyway, Carmen soon finds the Amigos and takes them to Santo Poco.

There's an initial confrontation between the Amigos and a few of El Guapo's men, which seems to go well for the Amigos (but only because they're clueless and the way they act confuses the banditos). That night, the whole town celebrates, but the next day, El Guapo himself comes to the village with fifty of his men, and after the Amigos try to put on another show... they finally realize that all this is real. Beyond that, I don't want to spoil any details of the plot. I'll just say it's mostly quite predictable, and quite redonkulous, and again I'll say reasonably amusing. There are definitely some fun, quirky touches. And a happy ending; although I can't imagine the Amigos are going to have much luck in the future. But that's not important. They had more than enough luck in this particular story.


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