Desperado


Buscemi: "Just try and keep it from turning into a f***ing bloodbath, all right? Not like last time."
Mariachi: "That one wasn't my fault."
Buscemi: "Well, of course not."
Mariachi: "No, they started it."



release year: 1995
genre: action
viewing setting: home DVD, 11/23/17 and 8/17/15 and 11/12/12 and 12/14/00 and several times before that

synopsis: Out of nowhere comes a mysterious drifter with a guitar case full of weapons and a need for revenge.

impressions: This was one of those that I saw in the theater and was just mesmerized; I remember sitting there after it ended and saying "Wow." It's basically a bunch of gunfights spaced out by drama scenes. What most people don't know is that it's also a sequel to El Mariachi which was about a young mariachi (guitar player) who was mistaken for a dangerous killer carrying a guitar case full of guns. Well, this movie's actually about a dangerous killer carrying a guitar case full of guns, and he uses them. Boy, does he use them. This movie delivers the goods. No less than 32 people die before the 40-minute mark, many of them with copious amounts of spraying blood, and the final body count is higher than that. Around the 53:57 mark begins one of the greatest fight scenes in movie history, when a carful of goons messes with the wrong guy (and his beltful of knives.) There's also another outrageously over-the-top extended fight scene starting at around 1:27:30, when the mariachi and his two equally-dangerous friends face off against an army of bad guys. The movie also has good style, with background music appropriate to various situations and some good settings. For example, there's a bar with a sign declaring "The customer is always wrong" and whose bartender considers just shooting a bitchy American customer who's complaining about the service.

body count: 66 verified, plus maybe the guy who got taken out by the fallen ceiling fan

acting: Antonio Banderas does a good job in one of his early roles, though (as with many of his roles) he tends to mumble things that make no sense. A young Salma Hayek is stunningly gorgeous as the woman who helps him and eventually falls for him. Steve Buscemi floats around and acts odd, as usual. Cheech Marin does a good job as a wisecracking bartender. Danny Trejo carves out a great role as a mean, dangerous knife-throwing assassin. Joaquim de Almeida is good as the head villain.

final word: A thrill ride that never lets up. If you like violent gunfights, you must see it.

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