- Antonio Banderas, Joaquim De Almeida, Salma Hayek, Steve Buscemi, Cheech Marin and Quentin Tarantino star in this stylish shoot-’em-up described as a south-of-the-border Pulp Fiction
, now remastered in high definition for Blu-ray™. Writer/director Robert Rodriguez follows up his legendary debut film, El Mariachi
, with this sexy sequel about a mysterious guitar player (Banderas) searching for vengeance against the men who murdered his girlfriend. El Mariachi
- All he wants is to be a mariachi, like his father, his grandfather and his great grandfather before him. But the town he thinks will bring him luck brings only a curse of deadly mistaken identity. Forced to trade his guitar for a gun, the mariachi is playing for his life in this critically acclaimed film debut from writer/director Robert Rodriguez, now remastered in high definition for Blu-ray™.
This first film by twenty-four-year-old Robert Rodriguez was made for seven thousand dollars, and part of its enormous charm is that it really looks like a seven-thousand-dollar movie. It's a grubby little thriller, set in a Mexican border town, about a wandering mariachi musician (Carlos Gallardo) who is mistaken for a killer. The picture is a virtually unbroken series of chases and shoot-outs, and the non-stop action should be tiresome, but it isn't. Rodriguez establishes a delirious pace, and keeps the bullets flying and the corpses crumpling for a brisk, and appropriately terse, eighty-two minutes. The movie has the sort of dry, bracingly unwholesome humor that relentless mayhem can produce if the characters are mean and abject enough and the storytelling is speedy and laconic. This young filmmaker is no visual wizard; he's just an energetic and imaginative manipulator of tried-and-true genre conventions. But if you enter his seedy world with expectations as low as the picture's aspirations, you'll probably have a very good time. Also with Reinol Martinez, Consuelo Gómez, and Peter Marquardt. In Spanish. -Terrence Rafferty
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker Desperado
Director Robert Rodriguez follows up his cult feature "El Mariachi" with a similar story in an identical setting, throws in a big star, and comes up with the same old thing-fun with guns. The plot is not exactly Balzacian in its complexity: we watch the Mariachi kill a large number of unshaven men and go to bed with a smooth-skinned beauty as he moves toward an ultimate and rather tedious act of vengeance. What fun there is derives from the smart editing (Rodriguez did his own cutting, and he's quicker on the draw than most of the pistol-packers) and from Antonio Banderas, who, stepping neatly into the Mariachi's boots, lends irony and calm, and even a trace of sweetness, to a nothing role. Without him the picture would remain a hollow, high-speed exercise in style. (Fans of Quentin Tarantino will note with delight that their idol has a small supporting role. Foes will note with equal delight that he gets shot in the head.) -Anthony Lane
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker