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Once Upon A Time In Mexico

2003 action film written, edited and directed by Robert Rodriguez

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What a fun movie! Over-The-Top action with humor!

  • Mar 19, 2009
  • by
How does one go about describing a movie so rarely ideal in every way? Well, I'll do the best I can. 'Once Upon A Time In Mexico' is a fun movie. It's "over-the-top" action is entertaining and sometimes humorous. Johnny Depp as Sands has gone over-the-top with his character also, a US agent (CIA?) infiltrating the Mexican cartels. (Rumor has it that Depp picked out his own dorky costumes for the role) He wants someone to kill Marquez, because Marquez is planning to kill the president, so he meets up (forcefully) with El Mariachi (played by Antonio Bandares). El Mariachi is a nickname, a legend, and supposedly a dead man. Sands makes a deal with El to kill Marquez, while Sands decides to kill the cook in a tiny Mexican dive because he cooks his pork dish too well - Sands has to restore balance to the country, you see. But Sands has done well with his choice of El, because it was Marquez who killed El's wife and daughter, and almost killed him.

Cartel boss Barillo is played by Willem DaFoe, and his sleazy sidekick Billy is played by Mickey Rourke. They also are involved in the plan to assassinate the President of Mexico. Sands goes after retired FBI Agent Jorge to take out Billy and Barillo. Does it sound complicated yet? Yes, it is - and no, it isn't. Basically, there's a plot to overthrow the government and everyone is involved. 'Once Upon A Time in Mexico' is the sequel to 'Desperato', but can be watched separately and stand on it's own. It's actually much better than 'Desperato', with a lot more cheap action added. (As a note, the scene with El Mariachi and Carolina (Salma Hayek) going out the window of a five story building chained together was shot with the actual actors and NOT stunt doubles)

The pace is fast, furious, and fun, with lots of gunfights and bloodshed and over-the-top action. Combined with a great cast, it gives this little adventure enough 'Ummph' to make it past mediocre into lively and well-done entertainment. 'Once Upon A Time in Mexico' is pure amusement; it has no other redeeming value. No deep messages and no artistic awe. It's definitely a popcorn movie, a movie to gawk at and laugh and squeal with anticipation. Go ahead, have some fun and watch 'Once Upon A Time In Mexico'. Enjoy!
Once Upon A Time In Mexico

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May 25, 2009
I loved the fact that it went overboard. Iy was like watching a really magnificent grag queen in action. My favorite part was when Depp paid Cheech Marin his $10,000 in a CLASH OF THE TITANS lunch box because it wasn't enough money to warrant a brief case. When that happened I knew I was in love. What I missed from DESPERADO was Banderas (pant, slobber, drool) playing that great guitar piece I can't spell while standing on the bar counter.
May 18, 2009
I found that "El Mariachi" was brilliant, "Desperado" was passable, but "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" has Rodriguez being too Rodriguez. This was too much for me and I gave it a low rating. It so did NOT stand up to expectations. I am a Depp fan, but except for his fake hand scene, I found him bad in this movie. I think it suffers like any movie with too many sequels; it exaggerates the features that made the earlier movies great and ignores what is should be concentrating on. Things like good writing and directing.
March 28, 2009
I did enjoy this but not as much as "Desperado" or "El Mariachi". I'm told that Rodriguez considered doing two films with Johnny Depp that would be part of a new series "The Man with No Eyes' which pay homage to spy films the same way that "The Mexico Trilogy" paid homage to Spaghetti Westerns.
More Once Upon A Time In Mexico reviews
review by . June 11, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Once Upon a Time in Mexico is one of those very odd movies that I love for a ton of reasons, most of which really have nothing to do with the movie itself. It took me forever to actually sit down and watch this third entry (actually the forth if you count the fact that the third will probably never be filmed) in the Mariachi trilogy after missing it's initial run in theaters. It had been on the Netflix queue for ages and I'd heard nothing good about it from friends so it actually ended up arriving …
review by . May 17, 2009
Once Upon a Time in Mexico is the final film in the EL MARIACHI series. The fugitive couple from the last film (Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas) are still on the run from the criminals who've survived their last gun battle. We finally learn who's behind all of the EL Mariachi's troubles. Will he and his bride ever find peace and solace in the desert towns of Mexico? Can they ever settle down and raise a family? You'll find the questions to these answers and more when you watch ONCE UPON A TIME …
review by . October 16, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: See Review     Cons: See Review     The Bottom Line: My recommendation: sit this one out!      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. Okay, I’ll admit it, the first time I saw Once Upon a Time in Mexico I turned the movie off half-way through because it was, well, boring despite all of the bullets whizzing through the dusty, arid Mexico City air. This was strange to me since I thoroughly enjoyed …
review by . January 21, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO is a hoot! Despite the fact that there is an incredible amount of violence, blood, explosions, and other forms of daring-do, Robert Rodriguez has such a good time galloping along on this adventure that it is difficult not to enjoy the ride. The sets and special effects are a terrific background for this hero adventure of El Mariachi, played to sheer perfection by Antonio Banderas. His sidekicks are the underused Marco Leonardi and Enrique Iglesias, the female pulcritude …
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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About this movie


The third and final film of the El Mariachi trilogy.

Starring Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp, Willem DaFoe, Michey Rourke, Salma Hayek
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Written by Robert Rodriguez

Product Description
Robert Rodriguez returns with the mythic guitar-singing hero, El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas), in the third installment of the El Mariachi/Desperado trilogy. The saga continues as El Mariachi makes his way across a rugged landscape on the trail of Barrillo (Willem Dafoe), a kingpin who is planning a coup against the president of Mexico. Enlisted by Sands (Johnny Depp), a corrupt CIA agent, El Mariachi demands retribution, and the adventure begins. The character, made famous by Banderas, remains a slinger of guitars and guns, a tragic and bloodied hero, but a survivor forever.

DVD features
It's obvious that Robert Rodriguez has as much fun putting together a DVD as he does making a film. Start with his rapid-fire commentary track in which he spills forth everything from his overview of the Mariachi series to how he partly wanted to make the film just so he could use high-def cameras after he saw footage from Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Then listen to the score and sound effects in full bloom on the isolated track, supplemented by Rodriguez sharing stories, identifying themes, and playing demos. His comments are intermittent, but he tells you where to skip to if you just want to listen to him. His "Ten Minute Flick School," ...
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Director: Robert Rodriguez
Genre: Action, Adventure, Western
Release Date: 12 September 2003
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Robert Rodriguez
DVD Release Date: January 20, 2004
Runtime: 102 min
Studio: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Dimension Films
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