Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Rated 4.0 Writer-director Robert Rodriguez delivers his best film with this, his completion of the El Mariachi Trilogy. Antonio Banderas returns in the gunslinger-guitarist role he took over in Desperado, but Johnny Depp just about steals the film away from him with his hilarious performance as a corrupt CIA agent. The plot goes a little crazy at times (there are too many characters to properly flesh them all out in two hours), but lovers of Rodriguez’s brand of action comedy will forgive the fault. The action is excellent, and the laughs, often the product of very sick humor, are big. Salma Hayek is featured in a flashback story that shows what happened to her character after Desperado, and Willem Dafoe is nicely cast as a drug lord looking to overthrow the Mexican government. One of the year’s funniest and more solid pieces of entertainment.