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Once Upon A Time in Mexico - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

IT'S been almost eight years since Antonio Banderas blasted his way through Mexico in Robert Rodriguez's glorious shoot-'em-up, Desperado, and the clock is now ticking down to the release of the third film in the trilogy, the impressively-titled, Once Upon A Time In Mexico.

Pencilled in for a late 2003 release, Desperado 2 will be Rodriguez's epic conclusion to the El Mariachi trilogy and although very little is known about it, already promises to be one of the year's undisputed highlights for action fans.

The plot, according to several sources, seems to revolve around the traveling vigilante, known as El Mariachi (Banderas), after he is recruited by CIA Agent Sands (Johnny Depp) to take down a corrupt general, who is in partnership with a powerful drug lord, Barrillo (played by Willem Dafoe), in an attempt to overthrow the president of Mexico.

That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg, as other layers of subterfuge and deception lurk, which all come to a head in a violent series of confrontations... Rodriguez style.

The director has likened the final part of the trilogy to another fondly-remembered classic, Sergio Leone's sweeping The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and has promised that this will be the definitive El Mariachi movie. He has also got back many long-time collaborators, including Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin and Danny Trejo. Curiously, the names Mickey Rourke, Enrique Iglesias and Ruben Blades have also been mentioned.

Rodriguez himself is quoted as saying: "I am filming the story that I wanted to make from the first time. Let us say that I took three attempts to make the correct one. I believe that this will be the best because it is a bigger production, the cast is enormous and the story is better."

He adds: "I plan on returning to a down and dirty, more experimental style of shooting similar to 'El Mariachi,' this summer being the 10-year anniversary of when I shot that film."

Rodriguez is clearly excited about the project and talks of setting them in a sort of alternative reality, much like the ones created by Quentin Tarantino in his movies. Talking on a website devoted to all of his films, the director goes on to say that all his movies 'are like dreams... there are people that need to find their personal freedom and they have to do strange things to obtain it. At the end they all will have it, in a way'.

In an interview with Latino Review, meanwhile, he promises that the movie will be a lot of fun, adding that 'if you liked Desperado at all, you'll really love the movie. And it just keeps going, it's got more characters, and Willem Defoe is playing a Mexican (Big laugh)…Mickey Rourke's in it, he's really cool'.

Johnny Depp, meanwhile, has also been talking about the film with apparent relish, particularly as the movie marks something of a change of pace for him.

"I play an especially nasty CIA agent, named Sands," he told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I'm just not a nice guy... I'm the most disgusting of all the characters! But the main focus is, of course, the Desperado character, played by Antonio (Banderas)."

Needless to say, Indielondon will bring you more details on the film, including a look at its US reaction, nearer the time of its release...

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