In 1992, director Richard Rodriguez began filming what would become an impressive trilogy of films, referred to by many as Mexican versions of the classic spaghetti westerns.
Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the follow-up to 1992’s El Mariachi and 1995’s smash hit Desperado, is a perfect complement to its predecessors.
The film continues the tale of the mysterious, guitar-slinging icon El Mariachi, played by Antonio Banderas.
In the film, Mariachi is haunted by memories of his murdered wife (Salma Hayek) and daughter.
His quest to avenge their deaths leads him to a corrupt CIA agent named Sands (Johnny Depp), with whom he makes a pact to bring down Mexico’s most notorious drug kingpin, and his wife’s murderer.
The overlying theme of revenge, along with Depp’s antics, gives the plot many exciting twists and turns, which make the movie enjoyable.
The film boasts a wonderful blend of offbeat comedy with eye-popping action scenes, one of which features Banderas and Hayek swinging down the side of a five-story building using their handcuffs.
The cast of Once Upon a Time is undoubtedly one of the year’s best, featuring knockout performances by Johnny Depp, Antonio Banderas and Willem Dafoe, along with strong appearances by Mickey Rourke, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin and even a cameo by singer Enrique Iglesias.
This good blend of action, comedy and great storytelling are the result of Richard Rodriguez taking on the roles of writer, director, producer, cinematographer, editor and composer, among other things.
Once Upon a Time in Mexico is truly an exceptional film that will interest anyone with a good sense of humor and an appreciation for creative, intelligent moviemaking.
Ross Bercik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.