Monday, July 6, 2009

Movie Journal: Desperado

Desperado as a sequel, is both very satisfying and very disappointing. How can this be, you ask? It's simple, really.

It's satisfying because, whether you've seen the original El Mariachi or otherwise, it's easy to be impressed by Antonio's Banderas' grand and believable performance. He's everything you'd imagine the character Mariachi would become after years out on the run and in search of revenge. In fact, every member of the cast is well chosen and contributes to the story's fun and charming feel.

It's also satisfying due to it's cool, slick, action. The opening gunfight is quite honestly one of my more favorite scenes in film history in terms of style. As Banderas comes in through that door, long hair shadowing his face and a large guitar case in his hand, you know something extremely awesome is about to take place.

Unfortunately, the film is also very disappointing, largely due to it's undeniably convoluted plot.

The ending to El Mariachi positively screams, "SEQUEL!", which is a shame because it will never get one. Instead of picking up where the last movie leaves off, Desperado flashes forwards years and years into the future, where any interesting backstory we so much wanted to see about the events following El Mariachi are eluded to briefly but never shared. This defeats the whole point of what fans wanted a sequel for in the first place. In fact, what we have instead is a very generic revenge story that is not only cliched, but makes absolutely no sense, and because it makes no sense it's really hard to become engaged on an emotional level.

Still, don't let a few shortcomings deter you from what is one of the coolest movies around. It could have been a lot cooler, but what's done is done, so enjoy what you've got.

7 out of 10

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