Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • In the third movie of Rodriguez's "Mariachi" trilogy, a Mexican drug lord pretends to overthrow the Mexican government, and is connected to a corrupt CIA agent who at that time, demands retribution from his worst enemy to carry out the drug lord's uprising against the government.

  • Once upon a time... it is a time of trouble is Mexico. The Mexican president has declared war on the Barillo drug cartel, who has plans to fight back by backing a coup by General Marquez to overthrow the government. Agent Sands of the CIA is in the middle of it all trying to make sure Marquez do NOT succeed... by forcing the notorious hit man-for-hire El Mariachi (Antonio Bandares) out of retirement. El Mariachi, after the death of his wife and daughter years earlier (from the previous film 'Desperado'), no longer wishes to fight, but he may not have a choice. At Culiacan, Barillo and Marquez have set a trap for the president, and Sands want El Mariachi to take out Marquez after the coup. El Mariachi called upon his two brothers for the final showdown... To save the revolution. Who will remain standing at the end?

  • The film is based on the story of a drug lord Barrillo, who pretends to overthrow the Mexican president. Within the drama, another of the principal persons is a corrupt CIA agent Sands who at that time, demands retribution from his worst enemy in order to carry out the drug lord's uprising against the government. El Mariachi (Antonio Bandares) is recruited by Sands to take out General Marquez (has a huge score to settle with the Mariachi), who has major beef with Mariachi to begin with. He sends Cucuy (the muscle for Sands) to shadow and keep tabs on the Mariachi. Marquez is working with Barrillo, and is about to assassinate the president and assume power. Sands also convinces Jorge Ramirez (a retired FBI agent, who has old scores to settle with Barrillo) to come out of retirement and take out Barrillo and Dr. Guevera (personal Dr. to Barrillo, killed Jorge's partner a long time ago), who brutally tortured and killed Ramirez' FBI partner.

  • Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Antonio Banderas returns as El Mariachi, (`El' for short), in the final chapter of the Mariachi/Desperado trilogy. The story picks up years after El is presumed dead. CIA Agent Sands played by Johnny Depp tracks El down and offers him a job to kill General Marquez (Gerardo Vigil), the man who killed El's wife and child. El takes the job for personal revenge and honor, and not for the money. General Marquez is working for Barrillo (Willem Dafoe), the drug cartel kingpin who has plans to assassinate the president of Mexico and assume power. Sands also recruits a retired FBI agent Jorge, played by Ruben Blades, who has an old score to settle with Barrillo. Jorge's partner was tortured for two weeks and killed by Barrillo years earlier. Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)

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