Once Upon A Time In Mexico

DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005

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Starring Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp, Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, Eva Mendes, Enrique Iglesias, Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Rubén Blades
Written By:
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez
Studio: Columbia Tristar
Buy on Amazon.com

The sequel to Desperado is fun, action-packed and wants you screaming for more! Robert Rodriguez knows a lot about making movies, and knows what people like. If you haven’t seen the previous 2 El Mariachi movies, you kind of don’t need to, it would be nice, but it’s necessary. The film can stand alone by itself. I remember seeing Desperado, or most of it anyway, but I haven’t seen the movie from start to finish.

Once Upon A Time In Mexico is about infamous El Mariachi gunfighter (Antonio Banderas) coming out of hiding after he is approached by a crazy and corrupt CIA agent named Sands (Johnny Depp). Agent Sands has many ties down in Mexico and tries to puppeteer a few groups of men (El Mariachi and his fellow musicians, Drug Cartel, Gangsters, FBI, etc.) into a bloodbath so he can profit from it. The story is sort of confusing at times, but it all comes together at the end.

I liked the movie and thought it was really fun. The best thing about the movie was Johnny Depp’s character, Agent Sands. Another scene stealing character for him to mark down on the chalk board. His character is such a bastard, but a likable one. You find yourself rooting for him at the end of the movie, even though he’s as corrupt as anyone could be. His lines and delivery are perfect, and he made the movie. I loved the shirt he had on in the movie that said C.I.A. haha. Plus all the different costumes he had on were hilarious and looked so fake you had to laugh. The movie doesn’t focus solely on one character, like just the El Mariachi, there’s other characters that carry the movie such as Agent Sands, Gangster Cucuy (Danny Trejo), Retired FBI agent (Rubén Blades) and drug Cartel leader (Willem Dafoe). Willem Dafoe is becoming one of my favorite actors because he is so convincing. He plays a Mexican, speaks the language and plays the piano. He said in the featurettes he doesn’t know how to speak Spanish or play the piano but Robert Rodriguez got him to do it. I liked how there was more than one Mariachi this time (Might have been this way in the first one, I don’t know, haven’t seen it yet), and gave Antonio Banderas someone to fight along side with. I was kind of disappointed to see that Salma Hayek wasn’t really in this movie that much. She’s probably the most attractive women on the planet and she doesn’t get enough screen time, it’s just disappointing to me haha. But I guess Eva Mendes was a nice fill-in to be the hot female in the film. I loved the way the film was shot. The camera angles were creative, the CGI was used in a subtle way and the action scenes were over the top, cartoony at times which I love. A person that shoots a guy with a gun doesn’t go flying across the floor. If you’re gonna make an action movie with special effects might as well go all out right? What amazes me about Rodriguez is that he directs, writes, produces, acts, does the editing, does the film score, cooking, etc. etc. That’s a one man team right there! Obviously he can’t do it all by himself but he takes part in almost all aspects of the movie making process. The movie overall was really fun to watch and loved all the action scenes!

The extras were awesome! I loved the ten minute flick school with Rodriguez talking about how everything was done in 10 minutes. It’s sort of like a Magician telling how he did all his tricks in such a short time. Another fun added featurette was ten minute cook school with Robert making the dish that Agent Sands killed for. Robert says people who don’t know how to cook is like people who don’t know how to fuck. Everyone has to do it so why not learn now and get good at it. The featurette that I really enjoyed was “Inside Troublemaker Studios” and I felt like I was watching an episode of MTV Cribs. The studios is in Rodriguez’s “garage,” but it’s this huge Latino styled house that has his editing room, sound editing room, music studio and computer graphics area. Robert takes us on a tour throughout his place and shows us each station or room, and he demonstrates a few things. The studio is in his home so he’s usually working there in the nighttime because there is no disturbances.

If you have a DVD-ROM, you can play 2 OUTIM themed games. One’s a shoot-out game where you try to kill all the bad guys and not hit your allies. The other game is a card game but I didn’t get a chance to check that out. There’s even more extras on here like a behind the scenes featurette called “The Anti-Hero’s Journey,” some decent deleted scenes, a featurette where Robert Rodriguez talks about film to some students (I Believe?) and one about the special effects of the film. I haven’t check out the audio commentary yet though. The extras on the disc are almost nearly flawless. I don’t have any complaints with them. If you liked the movie and a fan of cool extras, definitely pick this DVD up if you haven’t already.

– Robert Rodriguez Audio Commentary
– Ten-Minute Flick School
– Inside Troublemaker Studios
– Deleted Scenes
– Ten-Minute Cooking School
– The Anti-Hero’s Journey
– Film is Dead: An Evening with Robert Rodriguez
– The Good, the Bad and the Bloody: A Look at the Special Effect

– DVD-ROM: Test Your Wits in the Shooting Gallery and the Loteria

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround

Widescreen 1.78:1 Color (Anamorphic)


Favorite Scenes: Any scene Johnny Depp was in was great, and the action scenes were fun and violent!
Rating: Rated R
Running Time: 102 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: