Three Amigos | Chicago Reader

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Broad, uneven western parody, with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short as a trio of silent-movie cowboys who become the inadvertent saviors of a besieged Mexican village (1986). Nothing about this is remotely original, though director John Landis's hit-or-miss comedy approach does manage a roughly break-even quotient of easy, familiar laughs (the Sons of the Pioneers send-up, with the amigos serenading a campfire assortment of critters under an ersatz desert sky, is the cleverest single bit). A few hints of conscious styling amid the slackness (the snapshot groupings of characters; the choric stylization of the crowd scenes, an unlikely impersonation of Pasolini), and the bumbling heroes—Martin and Chase in jaded walk-throughs, Short appealingly overeager—fit neatly into the team-comedy framework that Landis seems to prefer (Into the Night is a notable solo exception), but on the whole there's not a lot of flesh on these cynically haphazard bones. With Alfonso Arau, Patrice Martinez, and Joe Mantegna.

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