Once Upon A Time In Mexico

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -3

El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas), the guitar-toting assassin, returns for this action adventure film, the third and final in the series. He makes his way across a rugged landscape on the blood trail of Barrillo (Willem Dafoe), a cartel kingpin with one last score to settle, who is planning to violently overthrow the president of Mexico. El Mariachi has been lying low because of his great losses and those who wish him dead. He is enlisted by Sands (Johnny Depp), a corrupt CIA agent, to sabotage the plot by Barillo. But before hiring him, Sands sends several men to kill him in order to see if he can handle himself as the legendary assassin he is purported to be. El Mariachi passes the test, and the adventure begins against a backdrop of revolution, greed and revenge.

Killing is a major theme of this story as many people are shot, stabbed, blown up, hit by cars and shown falling from buildings. The film has a somewhat surreal feel to it. Pain, death and torture seem to have little consequence. Those with mutilated bodies seem to feel no pain. A man with his eyes gouged out still has a rather jolly attitude. When he bangs his head into a wall, he shows no discomfort. In the midst of the killings is sprinkled bits of humor. The challenge with Once Upon a Time in Mexico is to find the good guys. There are so many evil characters that, by comparison, an assassin who kills dozens at a time seems like a pretty good guy. Bad language is pervasive throughout, and there are two brief scenes of sexuality. The entertainment of the film is negatively overshadowed by the extreme violence and bad language.

Preview Reviewer: Alan Boyer
Columbia Pictures and Dimension Films

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: hell 1

Obscene Language: many (20+) times (F-word 15+, ass 1, S-word 4, other 1)

Profanity: several (GD 4)

Violence: Almost nonstop, numerous gunfights, violent fistfights, men and women shot with automatic weapons, large explosion in a parade, people hit with vehicles, man has his eyes gouged out, several men shot at point blank range, a man shot in the knees blowing his legs off, several large explosions in and around a large number of people.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Two women in club dancing with very small bikinis; woman wearing a sheer top with no bra, seen briefly from the side, being kissed by a man

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 97 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.