Great, tragic actor Helmut Berger once said about aging and loosing his good looks: "I'm sorry that I had to grow old. If I knew it meant so much to you, I would have died younger."
Watching this movie is like attending a high-school reunion after 15-odd years: yeah, it's a happy occasion but at the same time odd and (despite we usually don't want to admit it to ourselves) a tad bit depressing. Good to see the old faces and see that they've been doing well – at the same time, many haven't aged that well and you discover, that you no longer share the same interests with your former best buddies. It's not only that Spencer and Hill got older but the chemistry has changed to a point where the old 'vibe' can no longer be replicated.
I was looking forward to seeing this film as much as I was afraid of it. Not because Spencer and Hill had aged but rather because I had been rather disappointed with their prior solo work in the late 80's and early 90's. Spencer had almost become a parody of himself with TV works like "Noi Siamo Angeli" and "Extralarge" while I was less than impressed with Hills "Renegade" and version(s) of "Lucky Luke". After all, kids from my generation here in Germany grew up with the original "Trinity"-films, mostly knowing most lines by heart and replicating them in the schoolyard (that and the fight-scenes, which often led to some rather painful situations, but that is another story). Some even made it a tradition to eat cook up tins of beans during the TV-reruns, just in time for the notorious eating-scenes.
In its defense, "The Troublemakers" by itself isn't a bad film. It's slower, less light-hearted and misses the direction of seasoned hands like E.B Clucher or Michele Lupo. Like a rock-band from the 70's playing a reunion-gig, they still know their moves and tunes, but the movement is no longer as graceful, the show is no longer as innovative (and certainly don't expect any new hit-songs). Sure, I'd watch a rerun of "The Troublemakers" on TV, but I certainly wouldn't watch it in a row with the "Trinity"-films.
A couple of years ago there were rumors about Bud and Terence getting together one more time for a variation on the Jeckyll & Hyde theme. The project apparently fell through and is now in nirvana. Even as a loyal, seasoned fan, I'm not ashamed to say: "Maybe for the better." Best to leave the party at the zenith, not when the party is fading out already.
5/5 (and don't think that I didn't wish I could give it more)
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