Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.
Release Year: 2003
Rating: 6.3/10 (73,363 voted)
Critic's Score: 56/100
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp
In the third movie of Rodriguez's "Mariachi" trilogy, a Mexican drug lord pretends to overthrow the Mexican government, and is connected to a corrupt CIA agent who at that time, demands retribution from his worst enemy to carry out the drug lord's uprising against the government.
Pedro Armendáriz Jr.
(as Pedro Armendariz)
Julio Oscar Mechoso
The Time Has Come.
Release Date: 12 September 2003
Filming Locations: Guanajuato, Mexico
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $23,424,118
(14 September 2003)
(26 October 2003)
Did You Know?
The idea of a rifle concealed in a guitar that shoots out the neck (as in the opening flashback in this film) was previously used by Roy Rogers in the Bob Hope comedy
Son of Paleface
When Sands gets shot in the arm toward the end, the squib is clearly visible.
I never heard of him.
The man you recommended.
The guitar fighter?
I really enjoyed this film, and while many people say its not got as
a plotline as El Mariachi and Desperado, I wholeheartedly disagree.
Both El Mariachi & Desperado had rather thin plots with interesting
characters and set pieces. While Once upon… hasnt got the same indepth
characters as the first 2, it does have a couple of interesting ones. But
the actual plot is the difference.
I think the plot is much stronger than people give it credit for and
look down on it because its so different from the first
Its a fairly complex plot, in which a corrupt CIA agent enlists El
(to kill the General) while informing A drug baron that El Mariachi has
resurfaced… The same drug baron has enlisted a rogue General (see
overthrow the peoples president who has sworn to put an end to the drug
baron… all this and the same CIA agent has convinced a retired FBI agent
to put an end to the drug baron who eluded him and both killed and
his best friend… and while this is going on El Mariachi goes to get his
trusty guitar case and best friends, 2 fellow mariachi's. Finally to add
another spin, the CIA agent gets some information which he passes on to
'friend', a special forces agent, so as to get her a huge commendation if
she can take out the drug baron.
Sound confusing? It is, and roll on double cross after double cross.
watch it once or twice and it does make sense, just dont expect your
'Mariachi' revenge movie, because its not and infact everyone plays second
fiddle to a fantastic Johnny Depp, whose CIA agent is by far the central
Much is also made of the 'missing' Salma Hayek who isnt in it nearly
now this I do disagree with. Firstly there is the absolutely gorgeous Eva
Mendes, who would blow Hayek off the screen anyday of the week, and should
be enough for people who only go to see a beautiful girl, and secondly
is no need for her in the plot other than when she does
Personally I would say, you will enjoy this film if its approached right.
And I think you would enjoy it more IF you do buy it rather than rent it
watch it on TV as it allows for repeat viewing which is needed for