HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Once Upon a Time in Mexico Action Figures
Year: 2003
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Danny Trejo, Eva Mendes, Willem Dafoe, Mickey Rourke, Enrique Iglesias, Marco Leonardi, Ruben Bladés, Pedro Armendáriz Jr, Cheech Marin, Gerardo Vigil, Julio Oscar Mechoso
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 5 votes)
Review: There is a legend in Mexico of a gunfighter known as El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas): they say he wiped out a whole town, that he has a shotgun guitar, and he is assisted by the love of his life, Carolina (Salma Hayek). Yet others will tell you he was left a broken man when the soldiers of General Marquez (Gerardo Vigil) ambushed him, and shot and killed his wife and daughter, leaving El Mariachi for dead. C.I.A. agent Sands (Johnny Depp) is trying to track this shadowy figure down, because he wants Marquez dead as well, only for slightly different reasons - reasons of power.

Written, shot, scored, edited and directed by that cinematic jack of all trades Robert Rodriguez, Once Upon a Time in Mexico was the third in his loosely connected series of Mariachi films, not so much a sequel as a continutation of that line of thought instigated by his debut. Banderas and a solely-in-flashback Hayek return from Desperado amongst a cast of cult actors, all looking suitably overheated in the blazing Mexican sunshine. As the title suggests, this instalment has the tone of a Spaghetti Western in modern dress, with Banderas doing most of the posing with firearms.

However, it's not the brooding Banderas who steals the picture, that honour goes to Depp, who lends his Machiavellian agent Sands a quirky personality all his own. Maybe because Sands is the one who not only looks as if he knows what is going on, but also takes the trouble to explain it for our benefit, that we warm to him as he dons various unconvincing disguises, uses a false, third arm or a T-shirt emblazoned with the legend "C.I.A." (not bothered about staying undercover, then?), and fires off dialogue like "Are you a Mexican or a Mexican't?".

That plot is labyrinthine to say the least, and it takes a lot of concentration to follow just who is out to get whom and why. Basically, Sands wants General Marquez dead, but only after the military have staged a coup d'etat; with the current president (Pedro Armendáriz Jr) out of the way, Sands' shady allies can take over, and the agent can walk away with the money that belongs to big shot gangster Barillo (Willem Dafoe). And that's not the half of it, as El Mariachi has to assemble a team to assassinate Marquez, Sands has a girlfriend (Eva Mendes) involved with the plan, and Barillo's chief henchman (Mickey Rourke) adds more intrigue to a film already overstuffed with twists and untrustworthy characters.

Life may be cheap here, and judging by the action here hardly anyone in Mexico dies of old age, but that's not to say death has no weight. Countless minions are gunned down or blown up, but that's part of the culture the film depicts, brought home by the main character's loss and a climax set against the Day of the Dead that sees a number of the cast meeting a violent end. What the overriding theme of Once Upon a Time in Mexico is, though, is "If it looks cool, put it onscreen"; bullets fly, bodies are propelled around, our haunted hero escapes certain annihilation, and it's all greatly stylish. Unfortunately, that can't take away from the anticlimactic denouement, where the threads of the story are simply cut short with gunplay. Good looking, sure, but it falls a little flat.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5702 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Rodriguez  (1968 - )

Hip, hard-working American film maker, a former cartoonist, who directs, produces, writes and edits most of his movies. El Mariachi worked wonders on a tiny budget, and since then he's made Desperado, the only good segment of Four Rooms, gangster/vampire horror From Dusk Till Dawn, teen sci-fi The Faculty, kiddie adventure quartet Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2, Spy Kids 3-D and Spy Kids 4-D, semi-sequel Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Frank Miller adaptation Sin City (which gained a sequel nine years later). He next teamed up with Quentin Tarantino for double feature Grindhouse, and although it flopped it did spur him to beef up the fake trailer Machete, featuring the Danny Trejo character from the Spy Kids movies, a sequel Machete Kills following soon after. James Cameron gave him Alita: Battle Angel to play with, but the results muffled his flair.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: