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  Go For It Spies Like Us
Year: 1983
Director: Enzo Barboni
Stars: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Buffy Dee, David Huddleston, Riccardo Pizzuti, Faith Minton, Dan Rambo, Susan Teesdale, Dan Fitzgerald, Al Nestor, Christine Troples
Genre: Comedy, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rollerskating drifter Rosco Frazer (Terence Hill) befriends burly jailbird Doug O’Riordan (Bud Spencer) at a roadside diner where they teach three rowdy rednecks some manners, then mistakenly drive off in a stolen truck. After evading the police thanks to Rosco’s uncanny skill as a ventriloquist, a strange turn of events sees the boys mistaken for a couple of international super-spies named Steinberg and Mason. Doug is handcuffed to an attache case full of money before he and Rosco are sent to Miami, posing as Texan billionaires as part of their mission to trace an evil genius out to take over the world.

Italian action-comedy kings Terence Hill (real name: Mario Girotti) and Bud Spencer (a.k.a. Carlo Pedersoli) mined a formula that might have been hit and miss but on some occasions worked like gangbusters, as was the case with Go For It, one of their liveliest, wittiest outings. Although the film suffers from the usual meandering plot and starts out in that familiar style of knockabout farce which Hollywood arguably imitated with a string of redneck road romps in the late Seventies, events take some unexpected and welcome twists and turns. Given the duo had long since exhausted the comic possibilities inherent in cop films and spaghetti westerns, it took a surprisingly long while before they tackled a spy spoof. As per spy film convention our hapless heroes are equipped with an array of gadgets and gizmos, including superstrong toilet paper, a gold cadillac laden with secret weapons, and a special spray called Eros Plus that can turn any woman into their wanton love slave but, strangely, does not figure into the plot.

Enzo Barboni, the cinematographer-turned-director who steered Hill and Spencer through their breakout smash comedy western They Call Me Trinity (1970), orchestrates the slapstick fight sequences, car chases and stunts as spectacularly as usual but has a shakier grasp on everything else. Nevertheless, Go For It exhibits an impressive line in verbal wit along with inspired sight gags leaving the laugh rate significantly higher than several previous efforts. American character actor David Huddleston returns once again to the Hill/Spencer fold as their hot-tempered boss as does that ubiquitous SWAT team who seem to appear in every one of their movies. There is the usual semi-satirical portrait of America as seen through Italian eyes with some amusing observations (e.g. the prison run like a hotel) sitting alongside others that seem simply surreal. Evidently Barboni had a significantly bigger budget this time around that allows for larger scale set-pieces and great-looking scenery shot on his favourite location, Miami, and including some entertaining antics at Sea World.

Once again, Hill and Spencer come across like a couple of overgrown kids who love a good scrap or an opportunity to play pranks, even on each other. The film more or less forgets the whole mistaken identity aspect of the plot and settles into a series of slapstick set-pieces giving free reign to the stars’ flair for physical comedy, including Bud’s battle with a gang of Chinese kung fu waiters and Terence Hill’s jet-ski pursuit of a gap-toothed bikini bombshell (Susan Teesdale). There is an endearing lunacy to the espionage plot that finds the boys enmeshed in a scheme led by bloated, bloodhound-stroking, Blofeld wannabe K-1 (Buffy Dee) who has plans to destroy a NASA space shuttle, unleashing a deadly radiation cloud that will somehow wipe out all numbers from existence. “Imagine a world without numbers. No baseball scores or phone numbers for Chinese restaurants!” gasps Bud. None of it makes it any sense, but then we don’t watch Terence Hill/Bud Spencer movies for sensible plots, we watch them for action and laughs and this one delivers both.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

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