- Written, Produced, and Directed by Robert Rodriguez
- August 25, 1995
A musician seeks revenge on the drug lord that killed his lover.
I had heard about Desperado for quite some time. I was always curious about it but did not check it out until I saw a rather cool looking steelbook edition for sale. Sometimes choosing to watch a movie can be that shallow for me. Sometimes that shallowness blows up in my face. This was not one of those times.
Desperado is a great modern Western. It is a revenge driven, blood-soaked, action fueled, shoot- ‘em-up. Antonio Banderas is great as the mysterious main character El Mariachi. Banderas is not only tough but able to convey a bit of pain as the character too.
This was Salma Hayek’s breakout role as bookstore owner Carolina. She is El Mariachi’s love interest in this film. She is not only stunning but able to make Carolina more than a token girlfriend.
Joaquim de Almeida plays great villains. Here he is the dangerous Bucho who is a drug lord becoming increasingly unraveled by an urban legend that is all too real that has it in for him. He always makes them evil and intelligent. You find them all a touch frightening.
Steve Buscemi has a part of this film as a character named, well, Buscemi. He works to spread the legend of El Mariachi to help ferret out individuals who know the location of the man that El Mariachi is looking for. We also have Cheech Marin and Danny Trejo in smaller yet very memorable parts.
Desperado is a cool and stylized film. Style is important especially in a revenge yarn. You may have an interesting take but if it is not presented well then who cares? This has a look and feel all its own in a great take on the concept.
And it manages some interesting twists and turns before the final confrontation. The hero and villain manage to just pass each other with neither quite knowing about the other. This does not feel silly but very natural.
This is as much of a modern Western as you could get. It has all the tropes of Western. A mysterious hero. The one good woman in the town. A maniacal villain. And a larger-than-life hero facing off against a dastardly villain. And to top it all off the hero and the woman ride off into the sunset.
Robert Rodriguez knows how to fashion a fun and violent film. That style is reminiscent of the more enjoyable 80s films. That was a time when you could find violent and fun movies by the fistful.
Desperado is a great modern western. It’s over the top and violent with great characters and a good revenge story. I recommend this!