We gave it a B
Some call them guilty pleasures, others call them critical blind spots. Either way, they’re the things we know we shouldn’t love — or at least admit we love — but do anyway. I have three of these. Their names are Lucky Day, Dusty Bottoms, and Little Neddy Nederlander. And together, they are…the Three Amigos (cue the mariachi music). I don’t need an excuse to watch Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short’s south-of-the-border comedy again, but a new 25th-anniversary Blu-ray edition of Three Amigos (1986, PG, 1 hr., 45 mins.) is certainly welcome. After all, I crack up every time I see the clueless trio break into their cutesy rendition of “My Little Buttercup” in a grimy Mexican saloon or hear Alfonso Arau’s thesaurus-wielding bandito, El Guapo, mention his “plethora of piñatas.” These gags are stupidly silly whether you’re watching them for the first time or the 101st. Plus, the disc’s new Extras — an old sit-down interview with the three leads and 20 minutes of deleted scenes — would only seem to sweeten the deal.
Sadly, these bonus features promise more than they deliver. The Q&A with Martin, Chase, and Short is surprisingly brief. And all three come across as a bit cranky, like they have someplace better to be. As for the cutting-room scraps, they’re a bit of a bust too. When director John Landis (National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Blues Brothers) was editing Amigos, the film was reportedly trimmed by the studio against his wishes. This may be one of the rare cases where the studio was right. Setting up the lost footage, a title card says that both Fran Drescher and stand-up comic Sam Kinison had juicier parts in the movie that were cut. But none of Kinison’s stuff appears here, and there’s only a quick glimpse of Drescher as the Amigos’ silent-movie rival Miss Rene. What we do get is an alternate opening of the film set in the peaceful Mexican town of Santo Poco and a longer look at the Amigos’ pampered life before they’re kicked off the studio lot by Joe Mantegna’s blowhard Tinseltown boss Harry Flugleman. (Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz are as priceless as ever as Flugleman’s fast-talking yes-men.)
If you’re an Amigos aficionado, the rumors of lost footage have always held the same Holy Grail appeal as Orson Welles’ uncut version of The Magnificent Ambersons. But these leftovers don’t add much. Good thing Lucky, Dusty, and Ned are still so lovably dumb 25 years later. B