Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general. Runtime: 102 mins Release Date: 12 Sep 2003
this is a really good movie. however i find the plot a little muddled and disjointed, perhaps covering old ground a little too much with certain themes.but shooting in hi-def is certainly impressive from a visual point of view and works perfectly with the reds and yellows of Mexico. i think desperado is the better movie but can only dream of what it would have been like had it been shot in hi-definition.nevermind. not the best movie in rodriguez's catalogue but definitely a worthy addition. if the project hadn't have been so rushed as a whole , perhaps it would have been a more <more>
An opinion from someone who liked the movie (by mugrim)
****Spoilers**** Skip first paragraph to get to actual review When a friend of mine said that his favorite movie was made for $7000 dollars, I laughed. When he said it was an action movie, I laughed harder, so this weekend, in an attempt to understand why, I rented El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once upon time in Mexico. Once upon a time in Mexico is not a movie that most people will have a neutral opinion about. This is NOT because people have or haven't seen the first two, but rather because of the general plot in the movie. The movie does an excellent job with action, no one could doubt <more>
that. What is really amazing to me though is the creative visual style that constantly surprised me. For example, in the first five minutes el mariachi pulls out a guitar in the beginning and the first thing you think is "Of course it has a gun in it", but then three minutes later, Johny Depp removes a face arm, something you would have never guessed, but wonder, "Why don't people do that in real life"? Many will complain that the acting is too over the top, or theirs too much emphasis, but what did you expect from a movie titled "Once upon a time in Mexico"?! People complain about realism, but think about it, the title itself suggest a mythical setting, so where's the confusion? Johny Depps character was well developed, a brash, smooth, egotistical man who is later humbled somewhat by the loss of his eyes. This movie was made for one reason, to entertain, and it does. Many say there are too many cameos, that Dafoe, Depp, and others provide nothing for the movie, but come on, the movie deals with an attempted revolution in a country. While all revolutions have a leader, this deals with the inner workings of such a revolution, and thus MANY parties are involved in such. The movie is good alone, but I would recommend renting the whole trilogy.
Rodriguez returns to full-throttle movie-making after seven years. A+ (by Quinoa1984)
There's something about the world that Robert Rodriguez has created here that works for action fans, and still engages somehow, perhaps just visually, on a kind of intellectual level. Sure they may be dumb fun on the outside, but really, the style here takes control, using impressive digital cameras. And, like the Leone spaghetti westerns that inspired the "El Mariachi" series, if one looses track of the story it's not the worst thing that can happen to the viewer's interest , and then throws enough flair and technical excellence in the action/shoot-up set pieces that it <more>
keeps us at the least entertained and at the most riveted. Watching Once Upon a Time in Mexico, I felt the more riveted than I had watching a film by Rodriguez since his 1996 horror-sleeper 'From Dusk Till Dawn' incidentally, co-starring and scripted by Tarantino . While there's some merit to 'The Faculty' his satisfactory send up of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' , and his 'Spy Kids' trilogy which will always be more entertaining to the kids in its following than it will to me , 'Mexico' boasts a return to the energy, and rather cool flamboyance, that went with his early action masterpieces. Basic story as I could follow it - it's years after 'Desperado' left off, and El Mariachi Antonio Banderas in a trademark role is in hiding after a renegade General killed his wife Salma Hayek and daughter. He is brought out, however, by another AWOL type, CIA agent Sands Johnny Depp, slick enough to be likable in distasteful situations who wants him to seek vengeance on the General while he gets away with millions of pesos in a deal involving rich, scheming gangsters i.e. Willem Dafoe and players playing each side those of which I won't mention here . But this story is just a baseline, like in the past films in the series, for numerous scenes of violence, mayhem, and surprises both in the characters' actions and in Rodriguez's work - and work here means that he films like a musician that plays five or six instruments at the same time and, remarkably, he plays each well . The camera work including operating hand-held cameras , editing, design, and spicy music score are all under the sole control of the director. This is tricky, considering Rodriguez's budget here is slightly larger than Desperado's and much more than his little independent wonder from 1992, but at least from my perspective he pulls it off to satisfy his fan base while gaining appeal for those who aren't familiar to his past films. If someone walks into 'Mexico' knowing only who the actors are, and seeing them on that basis, are bound to enjoy more than just the performances which in and of themselves skim that think line between over the top and subtle sublimely by the time they leave the theater. Now that doesn't mean those who are fans of the Spy Kids trilogy will immediately like this movie, indeed, those under ten may feel a little queasy over such bloodshed after a while. But for a core action-adventure audience, who've been awaiting a good, solid film after a summer that's been hit and miss, and still waiting for Tarantino's Kill Bill will not be disappointed. Note: one of the fun parts in a film like this is to see two particular actors return from past Rodriguez films, like Cheech Marin and Danny Trejo, and then on top of that to have such recognizable actors in such juicy supporting roles, like Ruben Blades, Mickey Rourke, Enrique Iglesias, Dafoe, and Eva Mendes.
It's got it's flaws, but the good out way the bad and there is no ugly when it comes to this action adventure comedy blast! The action is gritty, the action is spellbinding and the music, well it IS apart of the Mariachi series so, take a wild guess. Antonio Banderas - as great as he is in this flick he takes shotgun to Johnny Depp's lead. Depp as Sands seems like perfect casting and it's a thrill to see a great actor at the top his game. Selma Hayek - sadly - is not in this one as much and it is a sham, but since she was doing Frida we forgive her, and it actually makes for a <more>
more compelling and deeper action movie. El is trapped between a rock in a hard place when it comes to saving his people and saving his own neck. Has Robert Rodriguez puts it "It becomes a battle of The Man with No Eyes, The Man with No Face and The Man with a Guitar Case" and it's just that. Willim Dafoe gives a great and chilling performance, Ruben Blades is in top form and Eva Mendes is cold but hot none the less. And all fans of this series are happy to see The Boy in The Yellow Shirt has made his return.
This film is almost like a modernized speghetti western... while you can definitely see some influence by Sergio Leone Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, etc. the film itself is creative and very unique. Some excellent acting by some great actors... Depp, Banderas, Hayek, DANNY TREJO!, and many others. Some really good lines in this movie... "A man who wants nothing, is invincible"... quite possibly my favorite line in the movie... I also like the little "clash of the titans" lunchbox tribute... its just... wow... The music in this movie is amazing to say the <more>
least. A lot of which was written by Robert Rodriguez, or his band Chingon. Overall I give this a 9/10... would be 10/10, but its hard to beat a Leone film... sorry Robert.. lol... definitely a worthwhile film to see
If R. Rodrigez were to knock off one sequel to El Mariache per year, I would be one happy DVD watcher. Phenomenal state of the art action not to mention sexy and funny, on a shoe string budget, this is the recipe for success. I also want the ensemble to continue forever, Antonio and Salma and Cheech and all the rest in a short two word common Latin phrase that these comments wouldn't include, including the kid in the yellow shirt. I care about these people and want to see what they'll do next.Writer/Director/Cinematographer extraordinary in the French word for it that these comments <more>
also couldn't include, Robert Rodrigez can do whatever he wants naturally and he does it very very well. I love seeing the refinements he has effected since the original and hope this will become a genre I can anticipate seeing more of--ungrammatical as hell.
You need to see this two or three times... (by I_Broke_A_Shoelace_This_)
...not because it is a piece of cinematography at it's best but simply because you will need to see it two or three times to actually understand the basic plot of the movie even though I enjoyed watching it immensely .The main thing that will draw people to watch this movie will be the fact that it has Johnny Depp, Antonio Banderas, Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, Eva Mendes, Enrique Iglesias...and many more famous names in it. Although I must admit that some of them should have been given bigger parts or else have been left out altogether.I did enjoy watching this movie but it doesn't <more>
make sense the first time around...there is so much going on that the audience often feels as if trying to figure everything out will cause their brains to overheat. up are still a definite factor, however, As Johnny Depp lends his style and talents to the character of corrupt C.I.A agent, Sheldon Jeffrey Sands he even came up with the 'sheldon Jeffrey' part of the name even though the part was originally written for Quentin Tarantino. And praise is much deserved of Enrique Iglesias who plays the opinionated but still very loyal Lorenzoand also Eva Mendes who plays Agent Ajedrez with edge and darkness.This film is very much one for people who are fans of explosions and action but not for those who like well-written plots. I did enjoy this movie and I think Robert Rodriguez has impeccable style even if he doesn't present it well in some instances.
'Once Upon a Time In Mexico' is suprisingly good, a good movie which follows 'El Mariachi' & 'Desperado', all these are directed by Robert Rodriguez, who also directed 'From Dusk Till Dawn.', One thing that makes 'Once Upon a Time In Mexico' fun to watch is Johnny Depp who makes it a lot more fun to watch. A lot of celebrities in this movie, Micky Rourke, Willem Defoe, Eva Mendes, Enrique Iglesias, Danny Trejo and flashbacks which include Salma Hayek. Antonio Banderas, the star of this movie, plays his part very well but i would say Johnny Depp <more>
upstaged him. The action is very good, i was entertained, specially by the shootout in the church and the shootout in the streets when Barillos men try to catch El Mariachi.Overall I gave it 8/10, very enjoyable, good entertainment.
Over-the-top, Even more so than the first 2 films (by emperor_bender)
First there was "El Mariachi", an over-the-top, low-budget, fun film. Then there was "Desperado", an even more over-the-top, higher-budget, fun film. Now, there's "Once Upon a Time In Mexico", a ridiculously over-the-top, high-budget fun film.The plot here is very knotted and confusing, but still very good. As far as I can figure, it is about a man who has ruined El Mariachi's life, General Marquez, and his plan to kill the president. An FBI Agent is out to stop him, so he hires El Mariachi and various other people.Now for the cast: all were <more>
excellent.Antonio Banderas made a thrilling return as El Mariachi. Salma Hayek also makes a fun return as Carolina. Johnnny Depp plays a funny, interesting, and colorful Agent Sands, the FBI agent who hires El Mariachi. Danny Trejo was great as Cucuy, Sands' tail on El Mariachi. Cheech Marin was fitting for the part of Belini, the informant who gives Sands his intel. Ruben Blades was EXCELLENT as Jorge Ramirez, the retired FBI agent brought back to the force by Sands unofficially anyway . El Mariachi's friends, Lorenzo Enrique Iglesias , and Fideo Marco Leonardi were interesting. Eva Mendes was even not-terrible as the agent Ajedrez. Pedro Armendáriz Jr. gave a decent performance as the president. And Julio Oscar Mechoso was good as the president's adviser.Now for the bad guys: Willem Dafoe gives a very evil performance as Barillo, who hired Marquez to kill the president. Mickey Rourke was extraordinary as Billy Chambers, Barillo's right-hand man. Gerardo Vigil was great as General Marquez as well. The special effects here were 1st rate and came in handy a lot. There were many good action scenes and the comedy was well placed and funny. The music score was decent also.Over all, fans of "El Mariachi" and "Desperado" will enjoy "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"8/10