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:: Once Upon A Time In Mexico

In true Hollywood fashion where heroes are immortal and villains inevitably meet their fateful deaths, Once Upon A Time In Mexico does not stray from this principle. It may be the classic good versus bad with all the guns, violence, bloodshed, corruption, revenge, action and stunts in between, but this thrilling movie is indeed, extremely good.

Never a dull moment in its 97-minute screening, the film begins with suspense right from its opening scene with a dialogue between two characters, Sands (Johnny Depp) and Belini (Cheech Marin). The action starts immediately and audiences soon realise that there is no room for wasted time in this film. It is shortly afterwards that the main protagonists enter the activity in a manner that will not be forgotten in a hurry. El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) and his love interest Carolina (Salma Hayek) add a smouldering presence to the screen as the all conquering team that take on the evil Marquez and his men and out-kill them, making it look so easy.

In this concluding third chapter of the explosive trilogy, the guitar playing gunman El Mariachi has planned revenge after his wife Carolina and their daughter were murdered (did not occur in this movie, however the scene appears as a flashback). He is grieving and recluses in his small Mexican village, until he meets the corrupt CIA agent Sands, who persuades him to work for him. El Mariachi is to intervene in a plot by a drug cartel kingpin, led by the drug lord Barillo (Willem Dafoe), to assassinate the Mexican president. It is believed that El Mariachi will not have a problem being assigned this task as his hunger for revenge and to settle an old score will compel him to do it. His two longtime musician friends, Lorenzo (Enrique Iglesias) and Fideo (Marco Leonardi) join him and the three accomplish their task. They save the president and ultimately Mexico, and there is a theme of nationalism associated with the victory.

Johnny Depp as Sands is a little humorous towards the concluding part of the movie, as his character becomes blind at the hands of the enemy. Enrique Iglesias in his film debut is coolly charismatic and adds sensuous appeal. However, all the credit goes to Antonio Banderas, who in this final part surpasses his performances in the first movie, El Mariachi and part two, 1995’s Desperado.

All in all, Once Upon A Time In Mexico is excellent. Director and producer Robert Rodriguez has included plenty of creative stunts, memorable gunshot scenes, beautiful Latin music and a perfectly selected cast. Despite the cliche of the heroes remain standing when all others die and a script idea that has been used previously, the movie is nonetheless one of the most entertaining to have been released in a long time.