With charm, warmth, and an old-fashioned Western sensibility, Watch Out, We’re Mad (2022) is the perfect 90-minute watch if you’re up for a break from the over-polished and over-produced content,
This review of the Netflix film Watch Out, We’re Mad (2022) does not contain spoilers.
There was a time in the late 1960s and early 1970s when Hollywood actors would nip over to Europe to make a cheap movie that they hoped no one would see. Such was the popularity of the burgeoning European film industry at the time, the phenomenon culminated in the ‘Spaghetti Western’, referring to the Italian take on the classic genre.
Eventually, the best Italian filmmakers made their way to Hollywood (perhaps most famously, Sergio Leone) and made classic cinema.
One of these Italian films of the ’70s was Watch Out, We’re Mad (featuring Donald Pleasence, presumably there for the paycheck), which starred the Italian screen duo Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, together Spencer and Hill made a string of commercially successful movies at the time and forged a place in Italian cinema history.
The plot centers around two brothers, who must reunite and set aside their old rivalries to get back the beloved Dune Buggy of their childhood. In their way is a mustache-twirling (not literally, sadly) gangster who wishes to take over the carnival showground for property development.
I have no earthly idea who at Netflix decided that they needed to remake the 1970’s cult movie, Watch Out, We’re Mad but I am really pleased they did. This modern reworking of the story retains much of the charm of the original and provides a welcome opportunity for a nostalgic escape.
The real charm of this is in the manner in which they capture the sense of good-natured chaos in the original (available on YouTube if you are curious). Although technically about dune buggies and gangsters, this is a classic Spaghetti Western, with all the tropes intact. This has clearly been made with love, and it is nice to see someone’s passion project survive the Netflix algorithm for commissioning projects.
There are some nicely executed car chases, a chaste romance, and some good old-fashioned, bloodless punch-ups where there seem to be absolutely no consequences. This is precisely the sort of film I would have happily sat and watched with my Granddad when I was a child, with him benignly chuckling next to occasionally muttering under his breath about how none of them is a match for John Wayne.
It’s 90 minutes long, the cast has plenty of chemistry on screen together, and Watch Out, We’re Mad has charm to spare. All that is missing for me, is a Rick Dalton cameo.
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