Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.
102 min, Italy:101 min (Venice Film Festival)
1.78 : 1
Rated R for strong violence, and for language.
Mariachi, Drug Lord, CIA Agent, Coup, Mexican President
DTS, Dolby Digital, SDDS
Lone Wolves, Vigilantes, Out For Revenge, Political Corruption, Assassination Plots
Flashy, Stylized, Slick, Humorous, Quirky, Tense
Comedy, Drama, Western
Drug Lord, Mexican, CIA, CIA Agent
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3, 7, 8
Count - Awards
US Box Office
Country Of Origin
Once Upon a Time in Mexico is a 2003 action film written, edited and directed by Robert Rodriguez. It is the final film in the "Mariachi Trilogy", which also includes El Mariachi and Desperado. Antonio Banderas reprises his role as El Mariachi. The film also stars Johnny Depp, Salma Hayek, Willem Dafoe, Enrique Iglesias, Mickey Rourke, Eva Mendes and Rubén Blades.
Has Detailed Data (New)
Youtube Video Code
El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) is recruited by CIA agent Sheldon Sands (Johnny Depp) to kill General Emiliano Marquez (Gerardo Vigil), leader of a guerilla force who has been hired by Mexican drug lord Armando Barillo (Willem Dafoe) to assassinate the President of Mexico (Pedro Armendáriz Jr.) and overthrow the government. Many years ago, El Mariachi and his wife Carolina (Salma Hayek) confronted Marquez in a shootout and wounded the general; in retaliation, Marquez took the lives of Carolina and their daughter in an ambush. In addition to El Mariachi, Sands convinces former FBI agent Jorge Ramírez (Rubén Blades) to come out of retirement and kill Barillo, who had murdered his partner Archuleta in the past. Furthermore, AFN operative Ajedrez (Eva Mendes) is assigned by Sands to tail Barillo.
While monitoring Barillo's activities, Ramírez meets Billy Chambers (Mickey Rourke), an American fugitive who has been living under the protection of Barillo, but can no longer stomach the horrible tasks he's been forced to carry out for him. Ramirez convinces Chambers he will provide him protection in exchange for getting closer to Barillo by tagging Chambers' pet chihuahua with a hidden microphone, and Chambers agrees to complete the deal by surrendering to U.S. authorities once Barillo has been taken down. Cucuy (Danny Trejo), who was originally hired by Sands to keep an eye on El Mariachi, tranquilizes El Mariachi and brings him to Barillo's mansion. Cucuy, however, is promptly killed by Chambers while El Mariachi escapes from captivity and calls his friends Lorenzo (Enrique Iglesias) and Fideo (Marco Leonardi) to assist him in his mission.
While monitoring Barillo's activity outside a hospital, Ramírez notices armed men storming the building and follows suit. He discovers that a group of doctors have been gunned down and Barillo has bled to death as a result of a botched facial reconstruction, but realizes that the corpse on the operating table is a body double before he is knocked out and kidnapped by the real Barillo and Ajedrez, who reveals herself to be Barillo's daughter. Sands realizes his mission has been compromised, but is too late, as he is captured by Barillo and Ajedrez—who drill out his eyes before sending him out. Despite his blindness, he manages to gun down a hitman tailing him with the aid of a chiclet boy.
As the village celebrates Day of the Dead, Marquez and his army storm in and attack the presidential palace. The guerrillas, however, are met with resistance from not only the Mexican army, but the villagers and the Mariachis. Marquez enters the presidential palace, only to once again confront El Mariachi—who shoots out his kneecaps before finishing him off with a headshot. Ramírez—who was released from captivity by Chambers, faces Barillo. After Barillo guns down Chambers, Ramírez and El Mariachi kill the drug lord. Sands manages to shoot the sadistic Ajedrez dead outside the presidential palace. Ultimately, Lorenzo and Fideo walk away with the loot that Barillo was using to pay Marquez, and escort the president to safety. Ramírez walks away, having accomplished his job. El Mariachi gives his part of the loot to his village before walking into the sunset while Sands begins his new life as a blind man.
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