Quite honestly, after seeing the first film in this series (THEY CALL ME TRINITY), I was a little underwhelmed, perhaps sold out by my own high hopes. That pic was the breakthrough buddy-comedy-western smash that made Hill and Spencer into superstars. I enjoyed it, liked its meandering pace and whimsical attitude, but was not blown away.
Now, after having seen the follow-up, I get it. Everything that was kinda shaggy, kinda loosey-goosey about the first film has been finely groomed here and the difference is notable. The story plays out slowly but steadily, with proper amounts of both slapstick and action, not to mention some damn fine slapstick action.
Spencer’s Bambino is introduced first, duping a group of crooks out of their freshly cooked beans in hysterical fashion. Not long after the thugs have regrouped from the incident, along comes Hill’s Trinity to do the same exact thing! These two gags set the tone for things: The two protagonists are never cocky or cruel in getting their way; rather they use their charm, and occasionally, Spencer’s beefy fists if necessary.
The boys head back home in time to hear their father’s deathbed wish, that they work together to find their way in the world, rather than constantly bickering. Their resulting adventures lead them to aid (repeatedly) a lost farming family, pose as federal agents, and get involved in a monks-versus-gunrunners battle.
The general spirit of the film is kind and genial, and for this reason it reminded me of the films of Jackie Chan’s Hong Kong heyday. Much attention is paid to intricate gags (several involving food); there are numerous well-staged and complex fistfights; even a running bit with a flatulent baby that would have seemed right at home in a JC flick.
Terence Hill’s Trinity is a happy-go-lucky layabout that is too lazy to even ride his own horse (he prefers to be dragged slowly behind on a makeshift cot). Trinity is handsome, charming, funny … a great character to be sure. Hill is capable of doing intense (e.g., VIVA DJANGO), so his embodiment of Trinity speaks as much to his acting chops as it does his personal charisma. As for big Bud Spencer, as Bambino he is the sour to Trinity’s sweet. Perennially grumpy, the character owns an underlying air of geniality that seems at odds with his willingness to swing his fists around. You get the feeling Bambino begins each fight with a big resigned sigh, as if he’d really rather be elsewhere. The two actors had appeared together in films several times before this series, but it was the Trinity and Bambino personas that really clicked with audiences of the day.
So if you are curious about the fuss over TRINITY, I’d just as soon recommend that you skip right to TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME to get the full gist of Spencer and Hill at their best. 8/10 stars.