I've always been interested in what other people are seeing and watching, and naturally, I love looking at Weekend Box…
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
The Time Has Come.
Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.
Once Upon a Time in Mexico is the third film of the Mariachi trilogy and it's the most underachieving of the three by a comfortable distance. This is one does not have the cheapness or the cheese of the other two, it's just a way more serious and stereotyped film that seemed a poor and typical hollywood blockbuster with lots of dull action and little soul. While Antonio Banderas looked like the perfect choice in Desperado, in this one I felt he did not fill the emptiness I felt about his character. Having Mickey Rourke and Willem Dafoe as the evil duo seems the perfect choice but, somehow, it did not work. At least we had Johnny Depp, who carried the film with his performance and with his badass character. What a disappointment.
I wouldn't want to presume to speak for anyone else, but when I settle down to watch an action film pretty much the last thing I want to see is Enrique Iglesias. Enrique fucking Iglesias. Furthermore, an Enrique Iglesias who looks as though he has never even so much as seen a gun let alone fired one. Some hero you are.
Robert Rodriguez harped on about how he wanted Once Upon A Time In Mexico to be his equivalent of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly in the trilogy he started with the impressive El Mariachi and then continued with the entertaining Desperado. I think he should actually have watched Sergio Leone's trilogy, and not just the last film…
The third film in Robert Rodriguez's Mexico Trilogy, Once Upon A Time In Mexico ties up all the loose ends from El Mariachi's past and brings new foes into his gun-sights. Carrying on the gun-play mayhem from the previous films and introducing Johnny Depp's crooked CIA agent Sheldon Sands into the mix, this ups the ante considerably with a bigger budget and a noticeably more impressive cast.
El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) is hired by the CIA to kill the rogue General Marquez who is being used by a drug cartel to kill the Mexican President. El Mariachi has previous with Marquez, the man who killed his wife and daughter, and it's not too long before he's dodging bullets from all…
So this is how the trilogy ends. Not with a bang, but with a succession of massive bangs. The first sign that Rodriguez might be getting a little carried away is in the credits sequence, where Banderas strolls to the top of a cathedral and we pull away to an obscenely, self-consciously grandiose helicopter shot that must have cost more than his entire debut film, the music swelling in mock-Morricone style. Then our hero watches a blameless pensioner get shot for protecting his identity and you begin to think: 'Perhaps a little more time could have been spent on the story.'
A bit of history, if you'll forgive the indulgence. In 1992, Mexican director Robert Rodriguez burst onto the scene…
The conclusion to one of my favorite film trilogies, the El Mariachi trilogy. Before I go on to the film, I want to mention just why I love the trilogy. Aside from them being very fun and awesome films, I like to think of them as kind of a folk lore type of thing. One story separated into 3 parts that changes as generations go on...
1. The Man (El Mariachi) plays out straightforward enough to the point that it's actually realistid. Like it could actually happen. It isn't as badass as the other two, but that's because it's supposed to be real. El Mariachi isn't a badass mofo, just an average man. This isn't quite as polished as the…
Robert Rodriguez puts the capper on his "El Mariachi" trilogy with Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and God damn if it isn't a whole lot of fun. Much like his buddy Quentin Tarantino's output, Rodriguez's films are a melting pot of references to other films/ genres/ obscurities, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico especially so. You want Johnny Depp with a fake arm, shooting chefs? You want Willem Defoe doing Face/ Off? You want Mickey Rourke carrying around a chihuahua? You want bombastic musical cues, explosions and Enrique Igelsias with a guitar gun? This is the film for you. Not subtle, not clever, but fun, exuberant film-making.
Love this movie. Such a badass action movie. Stylish, smart, entertaining, and enjoyable. I love the action scenes so much. Love it. Just Love it.
Robert Rodriguez's Once Upon a Time in Mexico is one of those movies that slipped through the cracks for me. I recently picked it up blind and watched it for the first time. I liked El Mariachi and Desperado, but this is a different beast. Rodriguez is akin to a kid in a candy store assembling an all-star cast and unleashing all sorts of crazy action scenes. The attention he gives the visuals of this film, not to mention the camerawork in general, is also quite clear. Make no mistake, the concluding chapter of this trilogy is ridiculous, emphasizing cartoonish violence and wisecracks galore, but it's a blast.
Admittedly the plot is a bit convoluted, but Antonio Banderas is superb…
Words I never thought I'd say: Johnny Depp was by far the best part of this film.
Boy was I disappointed. This was some of the worst cinematography I have ever seen in a movie with such high-class actors. From the opening frame of Johnny Depp behind the desk I could tell this was another one of Rodriguez' digital video features - I only saw SPY KIDS 3 a few weeks ago. But I let it go. Too quick to judge a movie after one frame.
But I got really bored of low angles of Banderas aiming his gun with a crucifix somewhere in the background. There was no single piece of action in this film that was inspired. The flying bodies were taken straight from Hong Kong movies. And if this was meant to serve as…
After re-watching this, I was bummed out with it, a little cartoony in a way if you ask me, with johnny depps' performance I thought he was a little bit too good for the job, that he didn't really needed to be there, a few too many characters for its own good, this is one of the films I had high hopes for after Desperado, plus, this is representing the great "once upon a time" films imo, the america and China versions are superb, but mexico's was no bueno, but now its just a film that belongs in my collection dusting away.
Robert Rodriguez's "El Marachi" trilogy comes to a conclusion in "Once Upon a Time in Mexico", and the franchise ends with a whimper rather than a bang. Don't let that fool you, there are plenty of gunfire and explosions in the final chapter, and few people nowadays film action sequences with more flair or color than Rodriguez. There are a couple of spectacular moments here.
The problem this time out is that all of the fun is weighed down by too much plot. There is so much going on here, much more than anybody needed, with everyone double crossing everyone else that it sucks all of the fun out. Adding to that problem is the amount of characters here. Rodriguez…
didn't realise that this was part of a trilogy until about halfway through... bad and confusing.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Based upon a few of the reviews on this movie's Letterboxd page, this is supposedly the third movie of a trilogy. The fact that I have not seen those movies, yet did not miss their story arc while watching this movie can be construed in both good and bad ways.
In general, this movie was likely helped by it being a month since I watched a brainless action movie. Because writing this review three weeks later, I don't think as highly as a I did when I finished.
I think the reasons for my growing ambivalence is encompassed by Johnny Depp's character. Interesting and fun at times, but also impossible and fake.
Was there an El Kabonging in the prior two movies? I found the lack of such a moment in this movie disappointing.
A chronological list showing the connections between various films, explaining how they all co-exist in the Quentin Tarantino universe...
Each week I'll post a new letter and all you have to do is nominate a film that you think…