Director Robert Rodriguez picks up where his successful independent debut El Mariachi left off with this slam-bang South of the Border action saga. Bucho (Joaquim DeAlmeida) is a wealthy but casually bloodthirsty drug kingpin who rules a seedy Mexican border town. Bucho and his men make the mistake of angering El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas), a former musician who now carries an arsenal in his guitar case. Bucho was responsible for the death of El Mariachi's girlfriend and put a bullet through his fretting hand, making him unable to play the guitar. Bent on revenge, the musician-turned-killing machine arrives in town to put Bucho out of business, though he finds few allies except for Carolina (Salma Hayek), who runs a bookstore that doesn't seem to attract many readers. Desperado features supporting performances from Cheech Marin as a cynical bartender, Steve Buscemi as the cantina patron who sets up the story, and Quentin Tarantino as a man with a really terrible joke to tell.
Desperado has almost no plot, very little characterisation and it isn't very exciting. Like Batman & Robin. However, unlike Batman & Robin, it's very entertaining, almost painfully stylish and incredibly cool. Banderas just is El Mariachi - I'm gonna have that haircut, I think - Steve Buscemi is very, very funny for as long as he survives, and the latin Winona Ryder Salma Hayek provides the eye candy. Unfortunetly, the action scenes are actually almost all blazing gun battles (a shame for those who wanted to see stunts on horse back, Banderas thrown into a pit to do bull fighting, etc) with hordes of bad guys getting slaughtered, but at least El Mariachi knows what he is doing is wrong, and stops doing it. He's nice to everyone else, and even teaches a kid to play the guitar. So, Desperado is basically an entertaining adventure with bullets flying everywhere and a less than serious tone most of the time - some of this is really funny. However, when Banderas and Hayek go to the bad guys base, don't expect it to be the final explosive shoot-out, because it ain't.
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