Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action.
With this sequel to his prize-winning independent previous film, "El Mariachi," director Robert Rodriquez joins the ranks of Sam Peckinpah and John Woo as a master of slick, glamorized ultra-violence. We pick up the story as a continuation of "El Mariachi," where an itinerant musician, looking for work, gets mistaken for a hitman and thereby entangled in a web of love, corruption, and death. This time, he is out to avenge the murder of his lover and the maiming of his fretting hand, which occurred at the end of the earlier movie. However, the plot is recapitulated, and again, a case of mistaken identity leads to a very high body count, involvement with a beautiful woman who works for the local drug lord, and finally, the inevitable face-to-face confrontation and bloody showdown. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
MPAA originally gave the movie an NC 17 rating. Many deaths and action scenes had to be heavily cut down for R rating. These include death scenes of Pick Up guy and his friend at the bar and death of Danny Trejo's character. By far the most major excision came at the end of the film, which originally contained a large-scale shootout between El Mariachi, Carolina, Bucho and his thugs at Bucho's mansion. However, owing to the amount of footage the MPAA demanded be removed from the scene, Rodriguez elected to remove the sequence in its entirety, giving the film its final fade-out ending. Two additional scenes were also deleted featuring the "crotch-gun" (seen in the guitar case). Originally, the gun was used by El Mariachi during the second bar shootout when he uses it to shoot the pony tailed thug in balls before whipping out his pistols from his sleeves and finishing him off. In a second deleted scene, the crotch gun gone off accidentally while Banderas is in bed with Hayek, blowing a hole through the guitar that they were playing. See more »
During the street firefight near the end of the film, When Campa drops down, and flips his guitar case onto his shoulder in preparation to fire a rocket from it, there is no opening or hole at all in the end of the case. The hole the rocket fires from does not appear until 2 shots later, after another shot of the approaching vehicle, then back to Campa. It is in this second shot of Campa that the hole appears and the rocket fires from it. See more »
Rodriguez follows up 'El Mariachi' with 'Desperado'. Many seem to have preferred the raw look that 'El Mariachi' had and while 'Desperado' is more 'sophisticated' in the making and more polished, that doesn't prevent it from being an awesome action entertainer. For me, it was just as much fun as 'El Mariachi'. Rodriguez does what he does best. He already mentioned that his Mariachi films are a tribute to the western cinema that names like Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood defined and 'Desperado' works perfectly with its comic book story, quirky characters and over-the-top action sequences. Moving at a rapid pace, the direction and editing are top notch. The cinematography is brilliant too. Antonio Banderas does a good job taking over the role from Carlos Gallardo (who sort of plays his sidekick in this one). However, it is Salma Hayek that steals the show even though the story is dominated by El Mariachi. As Carolina, she is sensual, witty, charming and quite clever too. Hayek delivers a very natural performance and owns each and every one of her scenes. In addition, there are some wonderful cameos by Cheech Marin, Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi and Danny Trejo. Overall, 'Desperado' is full throttle entertainment. This is what an action entertainer is supposed to be.
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