Director: Robert Rodriguez
While being the follow-up to El Mariachi, it stands well enough on its own without having to watch the first one (though, if you want the back-story, it's there for you). It is in fact pretty much the same movie in most regards, just with a huge budget and well-known actors. One thing that is the same is the style in which it is shot, some great stuff by Rodriguez that shows he can work with a huge crew and budget even better. It also allows him to do what he does best, laying out some great action sequences between some semblance of a plot.
Taking place several years after the original story, it's established that there is a shadowy figure of somewhat legendary proportions going around taking out characters of ill-repute. His trademark is a guitar case filled with guns. He kills a lot of bad guys, usually entailing lots of bullets fired and an occasional glorious explosion. But at least he does happen to find true love in the process. Again.
While nothing original, the story plays out in reasonable fashion except for one huge cheat toward the end (it kinda goes back to the first movie, but the fade-to-white is ubercheese topped with some whiz, WTF?). The interplay between Antonio Banderas and Selma Hayek (who looks gorgeous in this film) have some chemistry there, but it's pretty much a functional relationship that fits into the action. Quentin Tarantino has a bit part which is somewhat humorous, but plays it a bit too over zealously. Cheech Marin is much better as the sneering bartender.
After having shot several movies now (including From Dusk Til Dawn and the Spy Kids trilogy), it will be interesting to see how Rodriguez treats this character once again in Mexico. The trailer looks like it could be something pretty good, between some great action sequences and, well, Johnny Depp (!?!). It's only a matter of time before it ends up on the DMR...
Great Scene: Steve Buscemi, while being a bit out of place in considering his role in the movie, does do a great job in relaying the myth of El Mariachi.
DVD Notes: None, saw it on VHS. If it's getting the same workover that the first film is, I may have to pick it up as well...