Once upon a time in Mexicopost #2479 by Antje on January 1st, 2010 and last updated August 29, 2013
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Written by: Robert Rodriguez
Music by: Robert Rodriguez and others
Johnny Depp playing: CIA Agent Sheldon Jeffrey Sands
Runtime: 102 min.
Release Date: September 12th, 2003
The plot centers on El Mariachi (Banderas), who is recruited by CIA Agent Sands (Depp) to kill General Marquez. Marquez had murdered El Mariachi’s wife Carolina (Hayek) and child and has been hired by Mexican drug lord Armando Barillo to assassinate the Mexican President. Sands wants El Mariachi to kill Marquez after Marquez has killed the President. Sands recruits retired FBI Agent Jorge Ramirez to kill Barillo, as Barillo had been responsible for the death of Ramirez’s partner, Agent Archuleta. Sands also hires AFN Agent Ajedrez to tail Barillo.
As the plot unfolds, Cucuy and informants begin to turn on El Mariachi and Sands. On the day of the coup against the President, Sands is captured, tortured, and blinded; his eyes having been drilled out by his captors after Ajedrez reveals herself to be Barillo’s daughter. With the help of a young gum-selling boy, however, he manages to exact his revenge. Meanwhile, El Mariachi recruits his two friends, Lorenzo and Fideo, to assist him in rescuing the President. Much like Quino and Campa from Desperado, Lorenzo and Fideo also wield weapon guitar cases; in this case, Lorenzo wields a flame thrower, while Fideo has an RC Remote Bomb, which are able to destroy heavy armored vehicles. El Mariachi kills Marquez by shooting both his kneecaps and then shooting him in the head, avenging his lost wife and daughter, and goes on to assist Ramirez in killing Barillo – who falls off a balcony when El Mariachi shoots him with a lupara.
As the coup begins, the people begin rising up to protect the President, permitting the three Mariachis to gain access to the President.
Ultimately, Lorenzo and Fideo walk away with the loot that Barillo was using to pay Marquez, and escort the President to safety. Sands begins his new life as a blind man in Mexico. Agent Ramirez, his job accomplished, walks away.
The movie ends with El Mariachi walking on a desert road into the sunset.