Once Upon a Time in Mexico -
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek,
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Written by: Robert Rodriguez
Length: 102 minutes
Rated: R for strong violence and for language
Enrique Iglesias, Antonio Banderas, and Marco Leonardi with their
loaded guitar cases
Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage
involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.
I was extremely pleased to learn that Robert Rodriguez hadn’t
completely crossed over to family film-making and was returning to
his much-loved genre of violent, flashy, comedic, bizzare pulp-action.
Something akin to Quentin Tarantino’s films, yet less prone
to wax grotesque, Rodriguez’s films were more cult favorites,
mostly never getting ‘commercial success’. Rodriguez returned
to action to complete his Mariachi trilogy. To do this he brought
back a dark and brooding Antonio Banderas and sultry Salma Hayek.
This time he included Johnny Depp playing a dirty CIA agent as only
Depp can, including cheesy T-Shirts and poor disguises. The film also
included parts for Mickey Rourke, Eva Mendes, Rodriguez regular Danny
Trejo, Enrique Iglesias, Cheech Marin, and Willem Dafoe.
The continuity of the plot left a little to be desired. The film
tried to go in too many directions at once, but in this film that
hardly seems to matter. As in his other films, Rodriguez uses wacky
characters, gratuitous violence, and plenty of explosions coming
from gadgets that would make Q envious. Rodriguez directs (and writes
and produces and scores and edits) this film with an obvious enjoyment.
As the title suggests this film harks back to Sergio Leone’s
spaghetti westerns, but in a pop film making kind of way.
Okay, I’ll admit it, this movie isn’t for everyone.
But fans of Rodriguez’s earlier films will appreciate this
appropriate conclusion to the Mariachi trilogy.