Review: Desperado - 5 of 5 stars

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Mike Shea, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Mike Shea

    Mike Shea Guest

    Desperado has been a home theater staple of mine for almost ten years.
    With each viewing the movie seems to get better and better. Over these
    ten years I've owned five different copies of Desperado on three
    different formats. Desperado is the definitive action movie. All other
    action movies, except perhaps John Woo's The Killer, are held to this
    standard, a movie of pure action. As the Hollywood movie machine plops
    out tired formula-based films running often over $100 million dollars,
    Desperado stands the test of time. A seven million dollar perfect action

    "If he can't beat Cristos, I'm not interested." The muscled but graceful
    tattooed warrior climbs the split tie fence and drops into "the ring of
    death". He starts the fight with a left jab almost taking out his
    opponent in a single hit. A furious battle takes place, ending when the
    opponents leg splinters under Cristos's low jump kick. The opponent
    jumps up, kicking Cristos with his broken leg. Blood pours from Cristo's
    mouth and he falls dead in the Mexican dust. No words are shared and
    Cristos never has a single line in the movie. Desperado's perfection
    comes from four things; excellent minimal writing, surrealistic action
    scenes, and perfect characters who act instead of speak. Half of the
    characters in Desperado including our hero and the villain don't even
    have names. They come on screen with fury in their eyes and soon fury in
    their hands. People fly through the air landing against walls full of
    animal horns. The Mariachi, Antonio Banderas dances on a bar top firing
    behind his back as swarms of drug cartel fodder fall in piles on the
    floor. A knife wielding foe jumps onto our hero who kicks him into the
    air and fires no less than 30 shots into him before he hits a table in a
    pile of blood flannel. Only the bare minimum of dialog is used. The most
    interesting characters, Cristos, Kampa, Qino, the Colombian knife
    thrower, don't have any lines at all. When our main character meets
    Carolina, played by an unknown Salma Hayek, her beauty is so great a car
    wreck happens right behind her, the drivers never stopping their cat
    calls as their cars crumple together. No words are shared as he pushes
    her out of the way, takes a bullet in the arm and blows the head off of
    the gangster who stalks him.

    Not a single scene loses this focus. An excellent commentary by Robert
    Rodregez describes how he cares little for continuity problems. He uses
    the same two stunt men over and over again, putting different hats on
    them. He shoots fast and powerful. He paints a wall and shoots it before
    the paint is dry. He does things on the cheap and it ends up being a
    better movie. Like Clerks and Pulp Fiction, Desperado cost a tenth of
    what most Hollywood blockbusters cost and it is ten times the movie they
    are. Movies like Lethal Weapon 4, The Rock, Bad Boys, and Collateral
    Damage fail tremendously to hold even the smallest bit of what makes
    Desperado such a great movie.

    There are a few different DVD versions of Desperado available. The most
    recent "special edition" Desperado / El Mariachi pack is the best one to
    get. While the Superbit version contains a DTS soundtrack, there is no
    other advantage to it and it lacks the all-important director's
    commentary. Both the double-pack and the Superbit cuts are 16x9 enhanced
    1.85 to 1 pictures with a great Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. After
    listening to this movie about fifty times, I cannot tell a difference
    between the Superbit DTS and Dolby Digital versions. Get the most recent
    version with the director's commentary and don't be afraid to buy it. It
    is a perfect movie for any collection.

    I am writing this review after having just seen "Once Upon A Time In
    Mexico", the third in the Rodregez Mariachi trilogy. While I will pass
    on any review of that movie until I can decide how I really feel about
    it, I can say that it proved what a great movie Desperado is. Compared
    to every action movie before or since, Desperado is perfect. It is a
    movie all directors, especially action directors, should use when making
    a movie. It is a perfect diamond in a sea of glass. Buy it and proudly
    show it off in your collection.

    Mike Shea
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    Mike Shea, Oct 23, 2003
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  2. Do you give 5 out of 5 stars to everything? :)

    Remove "moc" to reply.

    Whoever says "Nothing is impossible" has never tried to slam a
    revolving door.
    - Willy Walker
    Sydney Assbasket, Oct 23, 2003
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  3. Mike Shea

    Mike Shea Guest

    Sydney Assbasket wrote:

    > Do you give 5 out of 5 stars to everything? :)

    your response gets five out of five stars! well done!

    Mike =D
    Mike Shea, Oct 24, 2003
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