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24 November 2013

Desperado                                          4 ½ stars


“Desperado” is the funny, violent and stylish movie from director Robert Rodriguez (“Spy Kids”, “Machete”). This is a movie featuring insanely entertaining action scenes and slick characters; it’s quite simply fast-paced fun and far better than a lot of Rodriguez’s films.

In “Desperado” guitar-playing, gun-slinging hero El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas “Shrek 2”) is out for revenge after his girlfriend was murdered. He spends his time opening up his guitar case jam-packed with guns and then diving around as he levels the place. It’s a standard set-up for the action scenes and it knows it but it offers plenty of great pieces of dialog too.

Banderas is great here as creates a magnificent anti-hero. Salma Hayek and Danny Trejo, who have both along with Banderas worked on several of Rodriguez’s pictures and they are quite good. My favourite character has to be the one played by Steve Buscemi (“Fargo”, “The Big Lebowski”), especially during the opening scene involving him talking an awful lot in a bar. I also really like Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction”) in his small role as the fast-talking jerk, he usually comes across as and he too has collaborated with Rodriguez multiple times. I’m surprised Rodriguez hasn’t made a role for himself in his films, the way that his friend Tarantino does in both Rodriguez’s and his own.

This film could easily occupy the same universe Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” does and that’s a real compliment. My favourite scenes in this film are the beginning and I also love the scene where Banderas and a bad guy keep trying to shoot each other but each gun is empty. The only part where this film disappoints is the final encounter with the villain but “Desperado” is almost as funny as it is violent and almost as violent as it stylish.