The Three Amigos

Posted by: | March 17, 2009 | Comments Off on The Three Amigos

I did not know anything about this film previously. Therefore, when I first heard the title, I thought it would be another one of those cliche Western movies. Instead, it was a refreshing change from the films we have seen previously, especially as of late. It actually had more of an impact on me after seeing The Wild Bunch. It was clever because it used the image of Mexico, dreamed up by Hollywood directors and this in turn, drew on the absurdity, especially that fantasy world created by actors. There were many tropes used in the film and as a result it played with the audience’s expectations. There were many elements in the film attributed to older films, specifically that of The Wild Bunch. The Three Amigos gave me a breath of fresh air because it emphasizes and exagerates those worlds that have been speculated upon by the U.S. film industry. The film remained neutral, but still calls attention to Hollywood and how silly their characterization of other cultures has been and more importantly, the Gringo protagonists, made a mockery of themselves. Even though the film initally seemed to have a senseless plot, in reality it was clever and made social commentary about the ridiculous nature of Hollywood.
The film had a Disney quality to it, as The Three Amigos dance, sing and laugh alongslide a slew of desert animals who speak, oh and I forgot to include, a talking bush. This film seemed to parody many older films. It also reminded me of Singin’ in the Rain because this film also makes commentary about Hollywood, when silent pictures were getting the boot and talking picture were becoming popular. Like the celebrities in Singin’ in the Rain, The Three Amigos are also glamorized by Hollywood, but when they are placed in real society, they are practically unable to function, let alone, understand what is going on around them.
As we talked about at the end of class, the movie takes place within a movie, which is also similar to Singin’ in the Rain. Reality is blurred and even when Steve Martin realizes he has been shot by a “real” bullet, the group still acts like they are in a film as they sing, dance and use their moves they have learned, while playing their roles in films. Also in contrast to The Wild Bunch, the women have power and overall, have litte to do with the men. In the end, the character who seems to be the most effeminine wins the “hot” girl, who seems to show up out of no where. Once again, it is the absurdity and unlikeliness that the The Three Amigos would win that makes this film so enjoyable and funny.


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