Three Amigos

Posted by: | March 18, 2009 | Comments Off on Three Amigos

Three Amigos!
…for kids?
So much death, and yet such juvenile humour. Martin Short had the only distinct, interesting character so he stood out to me as the funniest of the three. It seemed like the film had been hastily edited down to a more reasonable time thus sacrificing the comedic timing necessary for the jokes. Either that or children need some sort of accelerated physical joke telling to keep them interested.
Anyways, regardless…
A film like this can easily be dismissed as “fluff” or unworthy of any academic discussion, but I think there are some interesting elements to the film that stand out.
The most noteworthy for me was this double removal of a film within a film, and the clear portrayal of the assumed actual reality as totally synthetic and ridiculous.
Immediately, during the old fashioned black and white film, we as the audience recognize Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short as famous comedic actors. We then see the Mexican audience watching these three actors as if they were action stars, or strong, manly actors (This reinforced by the German who idolizes Ned). Of course, we know this isn’t true at all and that sets up the humorous misunderstanding that drives the plot.
Then, Steve, Chevy and Martin leave Hollywood for Mexico, and we never hear their actual character names as the actors who play the three amigos. They continue to call each other by their stage names.
It’s almost as if some fantastical reality has been set up where the Three Amigos escape the confines of the cinema and go to Mexico where they eventually discover that they truly are the Three Amigos, and yet all this is shown to us the audience within a film.
It reminds me of a children’s comedic rendition of David Lynch’s “Inland Empire” where the actor can never escape their act.
Even furthermore, I am tempted to read the entire film as a sick, hunger and desperation induced hallucinated adventure by Steve Martin’s character who so distraught about losing his job invents this story in his mind. That would be one way to justify the absurd “real” singing animals, bush and the invisible swordsman.


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