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Average Rating: 3.5/5

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The mysterious, guitar toting "El Mariachi" walks the streets again to avenge the death of his beloved girl friend in this bloody actioner. The tale opens in a seedy cantina where a flustered American bursts in and tells how he just saw a stranger come in and kill everyone in a neighboring bar. He then tells them that the stranger was looking for a man named Bucho and he is heading for their bar. Suddenly, El Mariachi appears looking for Bucho, who uses the bar as a front for his narcotics smuggling ring. An enormous gunfight erupts. Still Mariachi does not catch the elusive drug dealer who must spend the rest of the film in hot pursuit while simultaneously dodging the bullets of Bucho's henchmen.

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Critic Reviews for Desperado

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (12)

  • Rodriguez's second feature may be a rambling, derivative exercise in gratuitous violence, but its determination to proceed as if the word 'restraint' never existed makes for gleeful entertainment.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Mr. Rodriguez may be good enough to make a film about anything, but Desperado would collapse if its characters had to do anything but play with guns.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • What Rodriguez has essentially done in Desperado is make a slicker, more expensive copy of what came before. And what looked promising for $7,000 looks tiresome for a whole lot more.

    Aug 15, 2002 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The routine gets tiresome for the Mariachi, and for the audience, too, after about an hour.

    Jun 18, 2002 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Desperado is best when Rodriguez lets his playful side cut through the blare of a born filmmaker indulging his first chance at high-end Hollywood fireworks.

    May 12, 2001
  • Desperado, which is nothing but set pieces, snoozes between its scenes of carnage.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4

    Mike Clark

    USA Today
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Desperado


Daniel J DeMersseman
Daniel J DeMersseman

Super Reviewer

A shoot-em-up (and there's a lot of shooting) with attitude (likewise). Now some might confuse attitude with style, but shooting a gun while pumping your fists like one was throwing punches (unnecessary, duh) is not style. And Antonio Banderas practically does Zoolander's "I'm sooo hot" pout through the whole movie embarrassingly. Luckily Salma Hayek's youth and extravagant DNA save the efforts from total unwatchable-ness. Well that and watching Quentin Tarantino get his head blown clean off.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

This is a very wild, cool, and stylish film, even if it ends up being style over substance and story (with a messy and scattershot narrative to boot). In a way, this is more of a remake than a loose sequel or spin off. The original mariachi from El Mariachi does make an appearance, but this film is essentially the same story as the first, but with a different guy who knows the first guy. Make sense? Well, if not, don't worry. It's of no real consequence anyway. The action and stunts are inventive, done well, and a joy to watch. Buscemi and Tarantino ham it up in some fun supporting roles, and both Banderas and Hayek (especially Hayek, *wink* *wink*) are great to watch. I have a big attachment to this movie as I saw it at a young age and it introduced me to Rodriguez's work. It also kinda made me wanna make action movies, too. Like I said, it's got some flaws, but for solid action spectacle entertainment, this is a good film to turn to.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Antonio Banderas takes up the mantle of the wandering mariachi hunting the drug dealer who murdered the woman he loved and ruined his life. Although Desperado continues from where El Mariachi left off, it's more a bigger budget re-invention of the original than a true sequel, in a similar vein to Evil Dead II. With more resources at his disposal, Rodriguez fulfills all the potential of the idea, with some fantastic John Woo influenced action sequences which have a kind of ultra violent dance choreography and employs his now familiar ensemble cast including Cheech Marin, Quentina Tarantino, Steve Buscemi and Danny Trejo. Banderas has never been cooler, Salma Hayek never more gorgeous and it's a sexy, stylish and hugely entertaining left-field shoot-'em up with just the right amount of tongue in cheek humour. Still one of my favourite Robert Rodriguez films.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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