Desperado is the sequel to the independent critical darling “El Mariachi” and a prequel to the epic “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”. Of the three movies this one is by far my favorite, even though I know Mariachi is the one I am probably supposed to like the most. I do respect it immensely for what it achieved with such a small budget mind you, but visually speaking I find this film much more compelling.
I like it more than the final installment of the trilogy because I found that movie to be a bloated mess story-wise, and more of an exercise in trying to be cool with the occasional gunfight than an actual compelling narrative.
This was, along with Zorro, the role Antonio Banderas was born to play. His character walks the streets with a guitar case full of guns, looking for the man who killed his wife, a desperate gang leader who calls himself “Bucco”.
He even has his own personal PR guy played by Steve Buscemi who trumpets his accomplishments at bars around Mexico to scar his future victims.
Salma Hayek appears here in one of her most sizzling performances ever, maybe tied only with her turn in “From Dusk Till Dawn”. She literally causes car wrecks with her beauty here.
Danny Trejo appears as a knife throwing bad guy in one of his more memorable cameos.
Robert Rodriguez directed this movie with style and macho attitude to spare in what is basically a Latino James Bond film (minus the government intrigue). Banderas moves like a cat in the fight scenes which are perfectly choreographed.
The story here isn’t the strongest part of the movie, but it is just enough to keep you invested in the gun play and eye candy. This has been a favorite since my childhood years, a really really good B-movie.
Desperado gets a three out of five: GOOD.