Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rodriguez scores again..., March 16, 1999
This review is from: Desperado [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Rodriguez made a small film called "El Mariachi" that was beautifully realized and made for under $7,000 dollars and now he gives us the "now-that-I-have-enough-money" version.
And it's beautifully realized. Somewhere between John Woo and Sergio Leone with a little Coppola and Tarantion thrown in for luck, this movie is a miracle of story-telling and style.
This time, the Mariachi-Man(with a small arsenal in his suitcase) is played by Antonio Banderas(THE MASK OF ZORRO). Every scene that he's in is filled with violence and dangerous sexuality that makes him one of the most sought-after male leads in Hollywood. In the opening, Steve Buscemi(CON-AIR, FARGO, THE BIG LEBOWSKI) tells the story of a mysterious shadowy stranger who goes from bar to bar, looking for the man who destroyed his life. In the process, he shoots up everybody, including the bartender, much to the unease of 'tender, Cheech Marin(T.V.'s NASH BRIDGES, TIN CUP).
You see he's part of the front for Bucho, played by Joaquin Del Alameida (ONLY YOU, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER), the man who killed Mariachi's woman. And Alameida is wonderfully cast as the baddie, being shadowy and sexy at the same time with a gruff voice and commanding eyes that you can read like a book.
And so, the story rages on, and so does the mythology. Mariachi goes from place to place, trying to avoid being shot at in action scenes that look borrowed from the Universal Studios Western Stunt Show. In the process, Banderas meets Carolina, played by the beautiful Salma Hayek(54, THE FACULTY, FOOLS RUSH IN). She's eye candy, but instead of just looking pretty like most models in film(see CINDY CRAWFORD in FAIR GAME), she actually ACTS. Her character is complex, in that she is part of the Bucho's Front, so she understands the violence and the drugs. That's how she is able to fall in love with Banderas in the first place.
And there's many contradictions that hide in this film(the Mariachi has one spur, not two; the movie is in the present, but there's a lack of any technology; the love scene with Banderas and Hayek is beautiful, whereas the cut to his enemy having sex is slutty and whore-ish, you are able to make out the contrast between good and evil) and in these scenes, Rodriguez handles things beautifully.
Again, the love scene with Banderas and Hayek is a gorgeous standout. There are, what seems like a hundred lit candles in the room and the beautiful "Bella" by Santana is played in the background. It's filmed slowly, passionately, and so romantically that you're almost hypnotized by it. It's the best love scene since the Snipe' neck-bite in BLADE.
There are many surprises in this film that are worth mentioning, but I won't go into them. See this film for yourself, then rent "From Dusk Till Dawn" and you'll have yourself a great American-Mexican Western-Fest in your own living room.
--Matt
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 31, 2013 7:47:49 AM PST
Lillie says:
Please let me know if your DVD was in french? Desperado - "Edition Speciale"? I ordered this DVD from Columbia and the title on the dvd case and the back is in french. Is it suppose to look like that? Thank you for your help.
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