A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Problems are solved by violence.
Positive Role Models
Characters are too cartoonish to be even remotely considered as positive role models.
Latino director and mostly Latino/a cast. Distinctly Mexican version of the classic Western film, albeit with exaggerated violence, fight sequences, and characters. There are some nods to Mexican culture -- particularly the music. Salma Hayek's character, Carolina, is one of the only female characters and emerges as someone who has used her brains and beauty to survive in a lawless Mexican town.
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Violence & Scariness
Exaggerated, over-the-top violence throughout the movie. Characters shot in the head at close range. Death by machine guns, guns, rocket launchers, grenades, and knives. Fighting with punches and kicks. A fight scene replete with mixed martial arts results in a broken leg for one character before that character kills the other with one of his kicks. Exaggerated shootouts in saloons and on the streets result in stacks of dead bodies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief nudity (breasts) in extended sex scene -- passionate kissing in bed. In another sex scene, a woman is shown riding on top of a villain as she has an orgasm.
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Strong language throughout, including "f--k" often used, and dramatic use of "motherf-k-er" near the end. Also: "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "damn," "ass," "crap," "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Beer and booze drinking in a bar. Cigarette smoking. Cigar smoking. Cocaine stash found inside a kid's guitar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Desperado is a 1995 action thriller Western in which a mariachi guitarist (Antonio Banderas) seeks revenge on the drug kingpin responsible for the death of his girlfriend. It's the second movie in director Robert Rodriguez' "Mexico Trilogy," and stands on its own even if you haven't seen the previous movie, the 90s indie classic El Mariachi. Expect a lot of exaggerated gun violence, with shootouts resulting in piles of dead bodies, shootings at close range, and some blood. Fighting also with a rocket launcher, grenades, knives (several deaths by knives thrown by Danny Trejo's character), and a martial arts-style fight in which a kick breaks one of the fighter's legs before that fighter responds by kicking his rival in the head and killing him. Two sex scenes; brief nudity (breasts). A woman is shown riding on top of a villain as she has an orgasm. Strong language throughout, including "f--k" and its variations, "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "damn," "ass," "crap," and "hell." Booze and beer drinking. Cigarette smoking. Cocaine smuggled in a guitar. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While there was some disappointment for those who loved Robert Rodriguez' first movie El Mariachi, Desperado has stood the test of time. After the shoestring budget of El Mariachi, Desperado had major studio backing, and Rodriguez made the most of it. So much of the humor and style comes from over-the-top exaggeration in the violence, characters, and conflicts. It takes all the exaggeration of a genre that was already exaggerated, the traditional Western movie, and the result is a crazed sample of ‘90s cinema at its best.
As Mariachi, Antonio Banderas manages the balance between the "strong silent" archetype while also embracing the humor of the picture. The supporting cast is comprised of either all-stars or soon-to-be stars, everyone from Steve Buscemi to Cheech Marin to Salma Hayek to Danny Trejo, and each one turns in an appropriately preposterous performance to an enjoyably preposterous movie.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.