Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2003)

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Robert Rodriguez once again tries to out-pulp his long term collaborator Quentin Tarantino in yet another remake of El Mariachi.

He makes no bones as to his intentions, the opening credit proclaiming it “A Robert Rodriguez flick” rather than “film”, and the result is a slickly entertaining but rather vacuous affair. Desperado had just the right mix of drama, humour and action but this sequel is rather lacking in the dramatic momentum that involves the audience. I think the problem is that Antonio Banderas’ character is easily the least interesting of the ensemble cast; he does little more than mope around and shoot things in increasingly over the top set pieces to the point where it starts to feel like a Hispanic Jackie Chan movie without the jokes. Far more interesting is Johnny Depp’s amoral and smart-mouthed CIA agent, complete with tourist’s wardrobe, fake arm and collection of comedy moustaches; I couldn’t help thinking that it would’ve been a much better film if he had been the central character instead.

But as it is, it’s a fun slice of popcorn entertainment and with Depp, Banderas, Salma Hayek – who is otherwise wasted – and Eva Mendes in the mix, there’s certainly plenty of eye candy for both sexes to enjoy.

6.5/10

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