Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Review: Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Top of the head rating: 1/5

I hired Once Upon a Time in Mexico last night. Blah ... it was one of the most boring action movies I have seen in ages.

Good bits: Individually many of these scenes are fine, and some of the fun and pathos of the previous films is retained here.

Bad bits: The girl dies, the editing is nightmarish and makes little sense, there is no dramatic tension built between scenes and the action and plot are so over the top that it is completely unbelievable (and that is from a fan of Desperado).


  1. Antony,

    Thanks for the comment, tragedy has its place in storytelling (see below), but it is poorly handled in this movie. The death of Salma Hayek's character is telegraphed way in advance of when it actually occurs (it is in fact a historical item, a done deed) and it has no value, other than tidying up some strings for Antonio Banderas' character.

    As a result ALL of her action scenes are useless because we KNOW that she does not manage to survive them ... and we are given no reason to expect that her death achieved some higher purpose.

    Tragedy is traditionally supposed to play a therapeutic role, allowing us to experience the feelings it evokes without actually being destroyed by the experience. It can create a shared cathartic moment that brings the audience closer together, just by sharing the tragic event. Unfortunately, this movie doesn't do this.

  2. Anonymous10:18 am

    Damn - was sort of looking forward to watching this movie - not that I'm a huge fan of Banderas. Oh well - guess I can just wait for Chronicles of Riddick/Hellboy/AVP

  3. Anonymous8:41 pm

    Tragedy it is.Happy ending is for church goers.How in china can you expect a heroface to smile his way though amovie worth its salt without a blood or two,a tear or two.