Monday, October 22, 2012


Botte di Natale; western comedy, Italy/ Germany/ USA, 1994; D: Terence Hill, S: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Boots Southerland

The Wild West, a few days before Christmas. Moses is a bounty hunter who has ten children and a loving wife. Unwillingly, he teams up with his brother Travis, allegedly the fastest gun drawer around, after avoiding him for a decade, in order to catch notorious outlaw Stone, since the award is 4,000 $, a money he dearly needs for his family. They capture Stone, but Travis let's him go. In the end, their mother captures Stone in her home, so Moses and Travis join them for a Christmas dinner, with the entire family.

Terence Hill took over the directing position himself for "Troublemakers", his 17th and final movie collaboration with Bud Spencer, almost a decade after their previous film, "Miami Supercops", did not live up to their box office expectations. Even though Hill invested more care than any director who directed them during their weakest phase, the 80s - the cinematography is crystal clear, the shot composition is more ambitious, the set designs are very good - "Troublemakers", a loose 3rd part to their excellent western comedy that launched them into legends, "They Call Me Trinity", is only a good movie for the first 20 minutes, after which it starts to consolidate itself into a thin, standard and 'meager' farewell, when better could have been done. The opening letter of Travis' mother is wonderfully comical ("You never could read as good as you could shoot. So I presume that this letter will be read to you by a nice lady or a little kid...") and a few good jokes appear here and there, too (in one quietly hilarious scene, Travis "synchronizes" his swinging on the rocking chair with that of Moses' - but Moses cannot stand him to such an extent that he even stops his rocking chair and then starts swinging deliberately slower than Travis, refusing to be like him even in the slightest detail), yet the story quickly sinks to lower levels with the contest in eating beans and the bear scenes, as well as contrived moments (why would Travis simply release outlaw Stone after Moses caught him?). Still, the finale with the family re-uniting on Christmas is kind of nostalgic and emotional. The last Spencer-Hill film, but the last good one is still "I'm with the Hippopotamus".


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