Robert Rodriguez returns with the mythic guitar-singing hero, El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas), in the third installment of the El Mariachi/Desperado trilogy. The saga continues as El Mariachi makes his way across a rugged l... more »andscape on the trail of Barrillo (Willem Dafoe), a kingpin who is planning a coup against the president of Mexico. Enlisted by Sands (Johnny Depp), a corrupt CIA agent, El Mariachi demands retribution, and the adventure begins. The character, made famous by Banderas, remains a slinger of guitars and guns, a tragic and bloodied hero, but a survivor forever.« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 3/9/2017...
If it's action you're looking for in a movie you cannot go wrong with a Robert Rodriguez flick! This one is filled with shoot outs, fist fights, and romance along the way! Highly entertaining with an excellent cast.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Anthony D. from BROOKLYN, NY Reviewed on 6/15/2012...
terrible movie. I can assure you there will be no more Desperado movies. Totally unrealistic action.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
El Mariachi Part III?
Sonny Fernandez | USA | 09/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ah, now this is what I'm talking about; thrilling gun battles, brooding characters, bullets that simply EXPLODE characters across the screen, brilliant music and STYLE, lots and lots of STYLE. Johnny Depp can't help but steal the movie. His final scenes, sunglasses covering his eyes, blood running down his face, dressed in all black, smoke billowing around him, are just amazing. Antonio Bandares returns to the roll that made him famous, even though he doesn't have a lot of screen time, he always manages to capture your attention whenever he's around. He's brooding, big and he has the loudest gun in the world.It's plot is a bit complex for a movie like this, there's a lot of characters and there's a side-story that involves a plastic surgery that could've been tossed out, but hey, it gets Willem Defoe in cool bandages so I won't complain too much. I would've liked more shooting, but it manages to feel EPIC. The final battle has military and people warring it out in the streets, 3 Mariachis attempting to save the Mexican president and "El" finally getting revenge and getting "free", it's all fantastic.The movies full of quirkiness too, from Mickey Rourke hiding his cute little dog from his boss, to Depps strange obsession with pork, it adds lots of humor to the shooting.And speaking of the shooting, it's SO over the top it can't help but be un-effecting. There's hardly any blood in this thing, which is all good, it makes it easier for the audience members who actually take this stuff seriously.Is this a sequel? Ummmm, erh...no, not really. It's a sequel the same way Desperado was a sequel to El Mariachi, but who cares about stuff like that? This is a cool flick, and it's nice to have Robert Rodriguez back making real movies instead of kid stuff."
A Fun but Meandering Ride
David A. Dein | The Garden State | 09/14/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Let me begin by saying Robert Rodriguez is fast becoming the best commercial director in Hollywood. He has a strong visual sense and knows how to direct action sequences. But most importantly he knows how to create imaginative characters and really compelling stories. Everything but a compelling story fills his brand new movie ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO. A great action film, with top-notch characters and a story that's far too complicated and muddy.El Mariachi (Antiono Bandaras, Spy Kids), that guitar welding Mexican, is back. This time he's hired by a CIA agent named Sands (Johnny Depp, Sleepy Hollow) to kill a rival named General Marquez (Gerardo Vigil). Marquez it seems has robbed some very important things away from El Mariachi, and so revenge is on his mind. There are a few other sub-plots to sift through. With a rouge FBI agent (Ruben Blades, Cradle Will Rock), drug kingpin's (Willem Dafoe, Existenz), exiled criminal from the US (Mickey Rourke, 9 ½ Weeks), a corrupt cop from Mexico (Eva Mendes, 2 Fast 2 Furious) and El Marichi's pals (Enrique Iglesias and Marco Leonardi (Texas Rangers)) show up too.There is so much to sift through in this movie's plot; it took a while for it all to make sense. Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? Just what is Willem Dafoe's character up too? All is answered but you need to give the movie enough time, you need to wallow through the confusion, until it all begins to make sense.What makes this process easier is the wild action sequences. Which are some of the most inventive in a while. With very little CGI and lots of wild camera angles, this is not your run of the mill explosions, and shaky-camera stunts. I especially liked the sequence in which Mariachi and Carolina (Salma Hayek, Frida) are hanging from the side of a building. It's breathtaking and death defying all at the same time. I also liked how the film keeps its tongue firmly in cheek. This movie is full of laughs and one liners that don't take away from the film. The humor also manifest's its self in some of the more inventive sequences. I loved Sands three-arm routine, and the bomb in the Bass case. Lot's of fun for everyone. The other saving grace is Depp. Who gets the most screen time, even more than the film's hero does. His character is so layered; you're not quite sure what side he's on. He's funny, a little mysterious, and the only character fully realized in this film. Just to watch him is to appreciate Rodriguez's witty and spry sense of humor and how it translates to the screen. I'd love to see Depp work with Tarantino. Hmm...Bandaras, Hayek, Dafoe, and Rourke are all but wasted, by the confines of their characters. The script has very little for each of them to do. For instance Hayek' s role is barely a cameo, Rourke's is underdeveloped, and Bandaras just seems to be there to wrap up lose ends.I liked the movie. The good definitely outweighs the bad. I just wonder how many people will have the patience to give the movie its due. Judging from the large group who walked out even before the movie was over, I just don't know.Give ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO a chance. It's a meandering route, but at the end of the road it's well worth your time. ***1/2 out of 5"
Enjoyable, Stylized Comic Action Flick
Elle Ackers | Somewhere in time | 02/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You might have to be in a certain frame of mind to enjoy ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO. It is a quirky, stylized flick from Robert Rodriguez that should not be taken seriously at all. The third in the El Mariachi series, the plot while complex (and ultimately unimportant) is much more understandable than DESPERADO (1995).
Antonio Banderas reprises his role as El Mariachi, the cool, seemingly detached anti-hero. He has retired from his life of violence. His reasons are given in flashback with Salma Hayek. Johnny Depp, extremely funny as the bizarre Agent Sands, draws Banderas back into the conflict. Sands appears to be a villain, but he does ultimately redeem himself. Willem Dafoe is the despicable drug lord Barillo. He spends much of his time in bandages, which I found amusing since he was nemesis to the bandaged Ralph Fiennes in THE ENGLISH PATIENT (1996). Danny Trejo and Mickey Roarke play two different kinds of henchman. Trejo embraces the life of crime, while Roarke with his pet Chihuahua wants no more of than to go back to the US and retire. Eva Mendes is a lovely, untrustworthy agent. Ruben Blades, Cheech Marin, Enrique Iglesias, and Pedro Armendariz as El Presidente also appear in key roles.
There are many features on the dvd. You look at Rodriguez's studio, learn about cgi and non-cgi special effects, and are given a ten minute cooking lesson by Rodriguez on the character Sands' favorite dish, puerco pibil, slow roasted pork.
All in all, the movie is highly enjoyable in a Sergio Leone way. Even the title harkens back to Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA (1984). So don't think too hard, just enjoy."
Fun, loud and a 'guy flick' that I loved.
MotherLodeBeth | Sierras of California | 03/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 2003 my husband wanted to see this movie on our anniversary, so I said 'ok'. It is very much a guy flick, so if you dislike loudness, lots of drinking, women and guns blaring this is a movie you will not like. It is part of a series or trilogy with El Mariachi and Desperado being the first two.
The reason I loved the movie is because it is a tad campy as well as full on non stop action, which I admit can be a tad emotionally draining, so be well rested.
Besides Johnny Depp who gives a wonderful preformance full of wit, sarcasm, passion and anger, there are Antonio Banderas, and Salma Hayek, who do their characters proud. Willem Dafoe, Mickey Rourke, and Ruben Blades are added treats.
Other reviewers have gone into much detail and far better than I, about the ploy etc. For me the movie was simply a fun, albeit extremely loud, treat where I learned that a guitar isn't always just a guitar.
Alas it was the last film my husband and I saw together. He died a few months later, and I am so glad I said 'yes' to this movie, when I really wanted to say 'no'."
STAY FAR FAR AWAY
snakej32 | California | 02/25/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"After the greatness that was Desperado, I thought that a sequel with a bigger budget could only get better, man was I wrong. I didn't know that when people got shot orange sparks flew out of their chest and they flew 40ft across a room or that shooting random places in a bar (such as random glasses) made things explode over and over again and people fly all over the room. I also didn't know that someone wearing a T-shirt can get shot 12+ times in the chest with an assault rifle and still be in perfect health and having gun fights. I also didn't know that Mexicans can climb completely flat walls in churches when they are after someone, must be a special talent. Also, I don't think that people who just had their eyes cut out for no reason would be able to have and win many shootouts. I didn't believe that Salma Hyak being in the movie for under a minute makes her a main character and also that Enrique Iglesias is an action hero, HE'S A POP STAR! HORRIBLE CASTING! And WILLEM DAFOE LOOKS SO GREAT TAN! What a believable Mexican. And who could forget the lovable body guard who's having second thoughts about his line of work and who randomly carries around a hairless Chihuahua he dressed in cute pink clothes. O yeah, to top it off, a horrible plot that makes no sense. If you liked Desperado at all, stay far far away. Those of us who have seen it, can only pray there won't be another."