Stars: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Joaquim de Almeida, Cheech Marin, Steve Buscemi
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 104 minutes
It's Sergio Leone meets Sam Peckinpah meets Quentin Tarantino in this ultraviolent, mythological shoot-'em-up by auteur Robert Rodriguez. In Desperado, Rodriguez creates larger-than-life, genre-tweaking stock characters and puts them through their paces. As they stride bravely through an Old West lightly dusted with camp humor, they're periodically called upon to nimbly dodge bullets and fireballs through outrageously choreographed displays of Hollywood pyrotechnics. In this bigger-budget semi-remake/semi-sequel to Rodriguez's indie sensation, El Mariachi (made, famously, for $7,000), Antonio Banderas is the darkly charismatic El Mariachi, the Mysterious Stranger in town; Steve Buscemi is perfectly cast as his weasely, motor-mouth Comic Sidekick, laying the groundwork for El Mariachi's entrance by spinning saloon stories to build up his legend; Cheech Marin is a standout as the Bartender, who really knows how to handle a toothpick; and gorgeous Salma Hayek is, well, the Girl--treated to the kind of full-blown, slow-mo introduction the movies traditionally lavish on beautiful new stars. It doesn't add up to much, but it's a kick. Be careful not to blow out your speakers with the DVD's Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. --Jim Emerson
What do you want?
All I got is piss-warm chango.
That's my brand. Oh, this is damn good! Say, this is the best beer I've ever had. Actually, I'm just glad to be alive right now. I was up a few towns away... you know Saragosa? I was visiting a bar there, not unlike this one. They serve beer... not quite as good as this, but close. And I saw something you wouldn't believe. I'm sitting there see, small table all by myself at this bar. It's full of real low-lives. I mean, not like this place here. No, I mean bad. Like they were up to no good. Anyway, I'm by myself... I like it that way. Meanwhile, things are going on... under the table kinds of things. Not too obvious but, not too secret either. So, I'm sitting there. And in walks the biggest Mexican I have ever seen. Big as shit. Just walks right in like he owns the place. And nobody knew quite what to make of him... or quite what to think. There he was and in he walked. He was dark too. I don't mean dark-skinned. No, this was different. It was if he was always walking in a shadow. I mean every step he took toward the light, just when you thought his face was about to be revealed... it wasn't. It was as if the lights dimmed, just for him.