We gave it a B
Inspired by Sergio Leone, director (and writer, producer, editor, composer, cameraman) Robert Rodriguez wraps up his ”El Mariachi” trilogy with Once Upon a Time in Mexico, a bloody, chaotic epic about a Mexican patriot who must stop two miscreants from staging a coup d’etat. Antonio Banderas captivates as the smoldering, long-haired mariachi hero (”El” for short), while Johnny Depp’s sardonic, trigger-happy CIA agent is a masterfully witty, quirky creation. Despite a convoluted plot, Rodriguez’s mix of old-fashioned shoot-outs and digital technology makes this a worthy melancholy fairy tale.
EXTRAS With characteristic passion for his craft, Rodriguez pours his heart into the special features, including three minidocs that offer an inside look at the one-man filmmaking studio and an in-depth commentary sure to satiate even the most vigilant movie geek.