Monday, May 11, 2015

Mini-Review - "El Mariachi" (1992)


Wow, what a way to start out for Robert Rodriguez.

In this homage to Hollywood shoot-em-ups and films cases of mistaken identity, like "North By Northwest," Rodriguez not only directs the film, but also wrote it, produced it, edited it and did the cinematography for this Mexican gangster flick, on a budget of $7,000. Just about the only thing Rodriguez didn't do for "El Mariachi" was write the music, which might explain why the film has five different composers.

It is no surprise that after this film, Rodriguez was launched into filmmaker stardom, giving us many big hits like "Desparado," "From Dusk till Dawn," the "Spy Kids" franchise and "Sin City," as well as having a strange working relationship with Quentin Tarantino. This is possibly due to both of their love of excessive violence and the over the top nature of old movies, especially their need to pay homage to that zany violence.

I would describe "El Mariachi" as Rodriguez giving his take on a Hitchcock film, but with the violence of films like "Dirty Harry" and "Robocop." You end up getting a taste of everything, even if the film does not excel at any one aspect. It is not that "El Mariachi" does anything wrong, but the film does not do anything that stands out. The plot is good, the characters are decently relatable and the action gets the job done.

Though I do respect "El Mariachi" for how much Robert Rodriguez was able to do, and still make a film that turned out alright. Usually a director is also a producer and sometimes a writer, but never the cinematographer and editor as well. Kudos to you, Mr. Rodriguez.

Final Grade: C+

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