Friday, 17 January 2014
I only own Desperado on DVD because it came in a two pack with El Mariachi, which I at that time I hadn't seen. I'd already watched Desperado back when it first came out on home video, and hadn't been that enthused. I've enjoyed much of Robert Rodriguez's work in the time since then, though, so I figured I would give it another try and finally watch my DVD.
I'll start us off with two deeply unsurprising observations: the first is that Rodriguez has a strong visual style, and a knack for absurdly over the top action sequences. The second is that Steve Buscemi steals every scene he's in.
It was probably the absurdist, tongue in cheek elements of the film that a much younger (early 20s) me didn't appreciate. Middle-aged me was pretty darn amused by them, though. So I had fun watching this a second time; certainly more than the first. I liked the moral ambiguity of the protagonist and of his love interest, and the gleefully sociopathic tendencies of the villain. Add in the rocket-launcher guitar case, and I had a good time. Probably the only thing that got a reaction other than was probably intended was the sex scene: I found it more goofy and silly than erotic.
This is a revenge melodrama with a strong dose of black comedy to liven it up. It's full of brooding and snarling and histrionic declarations. It's in no way a realistic or sensible film. But if you're in the mood for a hyper-stylized action flick that doesn't take itself at all seriously, then book yourself a date with the Desperado.