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Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Screenwriter: Robert Rodriguez
Based on: N/A (Sequel)
Year: 2003
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp

As I saw these movies in reverse, I’ll be posting my reviews in reverse.

I picked up Once Upon a Time in Mexico not knowing it was part of a trilogy. I was advised to get it for the action in it as well as the character of Agent Sands because I am a gorehound and was informed that his biiiiiiig pretty eyes got horribly drilled out at the end, which had a certain appeal. Also, amazingly enough, my father had seen both Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico before I had and said that he’d enjoyed them well enough—just fun movies to watch in your spare time. However, when I got the movie, I was pleasantly surprised to discover it had a lot more than just bang bang and a bloody ending.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico, in relation to the other two movies in the trilogy, is the ending—the remaining piece of the puzzle. El Mariachi was him losing the ability to play (representing his life), Desperado was him getting it back, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico is him not only just using it but also finally getting revenge and living at peace—peace he did not fully achieve at the end of Desperado, as he went back and collected his guitar at the end. Once Upon a Time in Mexico is El’s final story arc, his completion to make an open and shut—El Mariachi opened the book, Desperado read it, Once Upon a Time in Mexico closed it.

And, of course, there’s Agent Sands, played by Johnny Depp as a third choice behind Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney. Hardcore lovers of the Mariachi trilogy actually hate Sands, as they feel he steals the show. And, really, he kind of does. Underneath his fannypacks, his stupid shirts, his ridiculous false mustaches, and his white shoes, he’s snarky, he’s dangerous, he’s charming, and he’s quite obviously a sociopath—everything is about him, and everybody must exist to entertain him. He gives off vibes of a spoiled little rich boy, but you know better than to cross him, tantrums or no. He’s a very charismatic serpent, and his own storyline is interesting as well, to go from completely on top to lying in the street, shot full of holes with no eyes. I found it very appealing that once his eyes were completely open and he saw how he was completely screwed over, they were put out and he had to continue the story blind.

My rating: Four out of five for its genre. Fast-paced, witty, funny, and action-packed.

Feel free to ask any other questions regarding the movie.


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April 2008

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