Desperado Revisit

Some of the cinematography of Robert Rodriguez’ film is very much reminiscent of Mexican art films. Although Desperado is a big-budget blockbuster, the style gives away its origin of El Mariachi. The fight scenes are so smooth and flowing, they look like a dance, the way Bandaras’ hair flows behind him; it is very different from the crew cut actions heroes from American like Bruce Willis or Vin Diesel.

The most breathtaking scene was after Bandaras had been stabbed several times by an enemy’s throwing knives. He was bleeding profusely, with make shift tunicates here and there. Around a corner he spies his little boy friend, who wants his help with playing his guitar. Bandaras follows the boy down a building, leaning up against the wall to support himself in his weak state. The little boy walks ahead of him, on the far right of the screen, then Badaras follows a few steps behind, a little of center of the camera. The last half of the screen focuses on the blood trail along the wall at Bandaras’ shoulder height. The scene elicits so many emotions from the viewer: pain, empathy, disgust, but there is also a beautiful quality to the shot, like a graphic novel picture, come to life.

Although the main characters (Steve Buscemi, Antonio Bandaras) are seemingly good hearted, and enjoyable to watch, the rest of the characters in the film are flat. Even Salma Hayek’s character, towards the end, becomes less interesting to watch. She is no longer Bandaras’ anchor to the real world, she becomes like him, wanting Bucho dead, despite consequences. Bandaras does an excellent job of showing the duplicity of his character, how he is, inside, a good, kind, person. He shows that with his interactions with the little boy. However, he has been forced to turn to murder, and the pain of it shows on his face. Meanwhile, the villains, like Bucho or the assassin, played by Danny Trejo, show no regret for what they do. They are flat bad guys, with a few funny scenes. Trejo is meant to be this daunting figure, and starts out as such, cleaning out beneath his fingernails with his cross-shaped throwing knife. However, despite his ferocity, he is taken down by Bucho’s men without too much of a fight. His character has a teeny-tiny fight scene, compared to the amount of destruction Bandaras reigns down.

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(Warning:  This review may get repetitive, but it will only take a few minutes to read.  Take the time to read it, because the movie will get repetitive and it