Film Scouts Reviews


by Eleanor Ringel

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A movie that was probably more fun to make than it is to watch. In mainstreaming his El Cheapo art-house hit, "El Mariachi," Robert Rodriguez has succumbed to Hollywood bloat and insider hipsterism (Quentin Tarrantino and Steve Buscemi are among the potential corpses). Antonio Banderas plays a guitar-player-turned-gunman who wanders into a dusty border town in search of a suave druglord (Joachim De Almeida). Since De Almeida owns just about everyone in town, several dozen scummy henchmen, along with a number of not- so-innocent bystanders, are dispatched before the two meet. Where the first film was insouciantly nasty yet somehow hilarious (Sergio Leone meets Buster Keaton), this "sequel" is a one-joke affair in which Rodriguez shows off his editing skills and his blood-squib budget without ever matching the watch-THIS aplomb of the original. The movie's one improvement over its predecessor is Banderas who's rapidly becoming an A-list sex symbol. Even Rodriguez's excess of ersatz carnage can't swamp his considerable star charisma.

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