Rod-Tino Tuesday: Once Upon A Time In Mexico

Hello everyone!  How was your weekend?  Great I hope!  It’s Rod-Tino Tuesday, where we watch a movie directed by either Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez.  This week, we are watching 2003’s Once Upon a Time in Mexico, a movie by Robert Rodriguez.  This is the final part of a trilogy that includes El Mariachi and Desperado.  Of the three, this is the weakest movie.  But, I’ll get more into that in a second.  Let me give you a brief summary of what happens in this movie.

Down in Mexico

This movie continues the journey of El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas).  He is a part mariachi musician mostly kickass fighter.  El begins working for shady CIA agent Sands (Johnny Depp).  The agent asks him to stop drug kingpin Barillo (Willem Dafoe)  from attempting to kill the Mexican president (Pedro Armendariz).  But, that’s only part one of Sands’ complicated plan (I’m coming back to this).  Anyway, this plan benefits El as well.  He gets to take revenge for the death of his love (queen Selma Hayek) and their unborn child.  There’s a bunch of gun battles and slick action moves.  At the end of the day, El gets his revenge, Sands loses both of his eyes, and the president is saved.

Yes El, Yes!!!

Once-Upon-A-Time-In-Mexico

Antonio Banderas kills it in this movie…in the entire trilogy!  He is so cool.  There’s a scene where El is trying to escape a church.  Apparently, Sands set him up to “test” him to see if he is the man for the Barillo job.  He shoots about eight people.  To kill one of the guys, he jumps from a high balcony, shooting one of the henchmen, and landing on his feet.  He barely says 100 words in the movie, but he still projects badass.  Sands gives us a different type of energy.

Sands is killing me

The beginning of the movie is great.  The end of the movie is fine.  The middle of the movie is a lot of nothing.  They could have cut about twenty minutes out of the middle.  We see a lot of Sands running around trying to execute his convoluted plan.  Those scenes are a little forgettable.  It’s difficult to remember who is supposed to be what in the plan.  The scenes went on for entirely too long.  Like when Sands was recruiting a retired FBI agent.  It takes freaking forever.  Then there is Sands’ fixation on a pork dish.  I thought that this quirk was supposed to make him seem a little crazy.  But, he never quite gets to that crazy point.  He was too busy trying to be clever.  If you’re going to give me crazy, give me crazy!

Once-Upon-A-Time-In-Mexico

Overall

Once Upon a Time in Mexico is not the best example of Rodriguez’s work, but it’s not the worst.  If I’m not mistaken, we have yet to see the worst.  I think Banderas’ intensity and machismo make this movie tolerable.  As for Depp, not my favorite performance, from him (my favorite is Cry Baby) or Willem Defoe (can you guess my favorite Defoe performance?).

Wrapping it up

Well, that’s it for Once Upon a Time in Mexico.  Next week, we watch a Quentin Tarantino movie.  Who would have guessed it would be the first Kill Bill.  So gather your Crazy 88s and make sure you join me.  Until then, Anime Thursday puts Angels of Death back into the spotlight.  Serenity Sunday is episode nine of Firefly.  If you’re in the path of hurricane Florence, be safe!

“We are the sons of Mexico”- El

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