Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Tagline : The Time Has Come.

Runtime : 102 mins

Genre : Action Drama Mystery

Vote Rating : 6.3/10

Budget : 29 million $ USD

Revenue : 98.2 million $ USD

Plot : A CIA agent hires hitman "El Mariachi" to assassinate a Mexican general hired by a drug kingpin attempting a coup d'état.

Cast Members

Reviews

**Tons of stylish action, a big budget, a script reduced to the minimum and a huge list of actors with nothing to do.** It was only when I saw this film that I realized that it is the last film in a trilogy that begins with “Mariachi”. However, I saw it after having seen “Desperado” and that allowed me to have a better understanding of the story: the gunman and his girlfriend are chased by a drug dealer until the day his men manages to kill the girl. Devastated, the Mariachi retires to live out his days in bitterness. After a while, he is called by a CIA agent, who gives him the opportunity to take revenge while preventing the total success of a military coup that will assassinate the Mexican president. Sound confusing? Maybe because it is! The script is very light, without beauty, care for details or stylistic refinement, and the text ends up being dominated by what I defined, sarcastically, as “latinxploitation” when I wrote for “Desperado”: a bunch of cheap stereotypes about Latinos and Mexicans. And I continue to have the feeling that these films are not healthful to clear up these preconceived ideas that dance in the heads of white, Anglo-Saxon, English-speaking America. If we saw director Robert Rodríguez dazzled by action scenes in “Desperado”, here he lost his mind: there are enough bullets for another invasion of Iraq. For those who live far away, Mexico may seem like a highly corrupt country and the difficulties that the authorities face in the fight against well-armed, cruel cartels with strong allies abroad are very well known. The film, however, takes two steps further and transforms Mexico into a land without law or ruler, where the order comes from those with bigger weapons and their hands deep in cocaine. Perhaps for this reason, the film did not have much support from the Mexican authorities and ended up not even showing the Mexican flag which, in the film's presidential palace, is replaced by something else with stars. I am still unable to fully understand this flag exchange. Speaking of action, was I the only one who smelled a faint whiff of Tarantino in this film's action scenes? Of course, with all this, the film develops and evolves very quickly, and we don't have any dead or boring moments. From an entertainment point of view, the film works very well, considering that we are an audience that seeks action and doesn't mind turning off our brains and accepting what is given to us. The underlying problem is that, if the script is already weak, things get worse if it speeds up like this. After a point, it no longer matters who is trying to do what. They're all shooting. For what reason? Maybe they don't even know! Despite the poverty of the material given to him and the poor construction of his character, António Banderas continues to deserve our attention, even if, in this film, it is unquestionably Depp who stands out when we talk about the cast. There aren't many actors capable of shining in an underwritten character, but he does it and steals the spotlight whenever he appears, sending Banderas to the corner and turning Salma Hayek into an extra. Eva Mendes is sexy, but she has no material to work with, and Willem Dafoe is very weak. There are a lot of renowned actors and even a singer – Enrique Iglesias – in the cast list, which shows more desire to be in this project than the ability to add something good to the final product.

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