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Director Robert Rodriguez picks up where his successful independent debut El Mariachi left off with this slam-bang South of the Border action saga. Bucho (Joaquim DeAlmeida) is a wealthy but casually bloodthirsty drug kingpin who rules a seedy Mexican border town. Bucho and his men make the mistake of angering El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas), a former musician who now carries an arsenal in his guitar case. Bucho was responsible for the death of El Mariachi's girlfriend and put a bullet through his fretting hand, making him unable to play the guitar. Bent on revenge, the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"The routine gets tiresome for the Mariachi, and for the audience, too, after about an hour."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Within Rodriguez' pulp formula stories are little pockets of ingenuity."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"An incredibly violent and infinitely entertaining shoot-'em-up."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Slick, funny and exciting, but falls apart in the end."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
"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."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"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."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Rodriguez's follow-up is unquestionably formulaic but mercifully free of the flat dialogue and arch one-liners that undermine so many action films."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A supreme example of style vs. substance - and style wins!"
‑ Brian Mckay,
"A zesty action thriller that recycles the best of the B genres and rolls them into a big-budget, pistol-packing extravaganza that in its best moments leaves you breathless with wonder."
‑ Jeanne Aufmuth, Palo Alto Weekly
"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."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"What happens looks terrific. Now if [Rodriguez] can harness that technical facility to a screenplay that's more story than setup, he might really have something."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A slicker, more expensive version than El Mariach, except that what was promising and charming for $7,000 now looks tiresome and repetitious for $7 million"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Desperado has merit as a guilty pleasure, but when the violence and action grow tiresome, the film has nothing to hang its hat on."
‑ Forrest Hartman, Reno Gazette-Journal
"Brilliantly made, if not especially deep, actioneer with nice cast."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
More reviews for Desperado on Rotten Tomatoes

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