Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Once upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

Once upon a time Jonny Depp upstaged the two stars, but it's ok cause he did a better job than both of them combined.

Genre: Action Crime Thriller

Starring: Antonio Banderas (Desperado; Four Rooms), Salma Hayek (Frida; Wild Wild West)

Directed By: Robert Rodriguez (Sin City; Grindhouse)

Overview: This is the final installment to the El Mariachi trilogy. In this one however, 'El' is pitted in a vengeance war against a military coupmaker with whom his woman shared a past.

Acting: The Depp factor definitely raises the bar, but sadly Rodriguez lets these actors ham it up too much. This film was more about caricatures than characters. This is one of the reasons that Banderas gets shit on by Hollywood. They don't let him do the parts Amoldovar gave him in Spain, where his brilliance shined on through. Sellouts.
Rating: 4

Cinematography: The images were nothing special. Quality camerawork for the stunts, for sure, and the occasional Mexican urban panorama bring this to the "good" level.
Rating: 7

Script: The words used were typical cheese. Again, the Depp factor brings it up a notch, and makes me wonder if he actually had anything to do with his own character's part in manner and in dialogue, because it seems that his is the best of the bunch. I don't know who wrote this, and I don't care to.
Rating: 5

Plot: What the hell?! This is not the sequel of a movie, it's a rewriting of the same damn second film! Two of the DEAD characters from Desperado are even there! For example, Cheech plays the guy with a patch over his eye, though I distinctly remember his getting shot dead straight in the center of the forehead. 'El' himself never had anything to do with any warlords in either of the prequels and neither did his woman. As a stand alone movie, the plot is passably good though predictable, yet they try to improve it with an interesting double play twist (Thanks again, Johnny Depp). It seems to me that these Hollywood freaks are trying to do a "man with no name" thing with this Mariachi. Well it doesn't swing. For their double-speak they lose points off the not so impressive story to begin with.
Rating: 4

Mood: The stunts were higher budget, more choreographed than in Desperado, but at the same time, more fake and dramatic. We feel less like our hero is in danger at any given time because of all the ramps and conveniently placed ledges. It tried to outdo the movie before it, yet forgot that we didn't come to see someone barrel to the end, we wanted to see close calls and even minor defeats. Einh.
Rating: 6

Yeah, I'd be pissed off too if a director used me like a bitch, forgetting the accomplishment and respect that took years to achieve in Spain.

Overall Rating: 52% (Bang Bang, Pop, Fizzle.)

Aftertaste: They sold whatever was left of their souls making this. They rewrote history and tried to make us swallow it. If not for Johnny Depp's character and that angle of this story, this would have been ridiculous. Of course, in the end, Depp messes even that up with his lame blind hero act.