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Desperado

Year: 1995
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Cheeck Marin, Steve Buscemi, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Trejo
As I write this review, I still haven't seen Rodriguez's El Mariachi, the film that bought him to the attention of moviegoers and provided one of Hollywood's most mythologised directors-who-made-it.

I gather it was a similar Tex-Mex flavoured revenge action/drama as Desperado; full of flash and pizzazz but feeling strangely soulless. I wanted to like it a lot more than I did, because of both the blistering action and the delectable Salma Hayek, but it seemed a fairly empty exercise.

El Mariachi (this time played by Banderas, the original actor relegated to the part of one of the assassin brothers in the climax) rides into town and proceeds to blow away local crime boss Bucho's gang. After shooting him through the hand and leaving him unable to play his beloved guitar, he wants revenge - a quest the movie deals with in its entirety.

Thrilling, highly choregraphed and balletic action (considering you could seriously damage your spine just falling backwards, watching Mariachi throw himself off three stories to land on his back, roll over and walk away is a big ask, but the hyper-reality is what the film's all about), but little else.

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