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.
Decent, but not as good as others would like you to believe.
Credit IMDb. 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 hit-man 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.
Desperado is a decent but overrated installment in Rodriguez's infamous trilogy. Action scenes are stylish, Banderas is a bad ass, but I felt a bit cold when it was all done. Some of the scenes wowed me, yet some bored me. Banderas's and Hayek's chemistry was the real story here.
Performances. Antonio Banderas is as cool as ice here. Unlike Once Upon Time in Mexico, he's able to roam free here. He was highly entertaining. Salma Hayek is easy on the eyes, no doubt, but she can also hold her own acting wise. She's sassy, sexy and credible. Cheech Marin has a cool role as a bartender, while Danny Trejo rocks it.
Bottom line. A bit overrated, but the good outweighs the bad for the most part. Settle your expectations and you'll be OK. You might even think it lives up to the hype, but I didn't. Worth a watch.
6 ½ 10
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