A movie that was probably more fun to make than it is to watch. In mainstreaming his El
Cheapo art-house hit, "El Mariachi," Robert Rodriguez has succumbed to Hollywood bloat and
insider hipsterism (Quentin Tarrantino and Steve Buscemi are among the potential corpses).
Antonio Banderas plays a guitar-player-turned-gunman who wanders into a dusty border town
in search of a suave druglord (Joachim De Almeida). Since De Almeida owns just about
everyone in town, several dozen scummy henchmen, along with a number of not- so-innocent
bystanders, are dispatched before the two meet. Where the first film was insouciantly
nasty yet somehow hilarious (Sergio Leone meets Buster Keaton), this "sequel" is a
one-joke affair in which Rodriguez shows off his editing skills and his blood-squib budget
without ever matching the watch-THIS aplomb of the original. The movie's one improvement
over its predecessor is Banderas who's rapidly becoming an A-list sex symbol. Even
Rodriguez's excess of ersatz carnage can't swamp his considerable star charisma.