(15) 101min so

Apparently, we have Quentin Tarantino to ‘thank' for this pointless third part of the El Mariachi series. It was him who persuaded Robert Rodriguez that, having re-made the original no- budget El Mariachi as Desperado,

the logical next step was to continue in the footsteps of his idol, Spaghetti Western maestro Sergio

Leone, by creating an epic ‘Chilli I Western’ along the lines of Once .. {

Upon a Time in the West. The problem is that Rodriguez, for all his skill and energy, has a B-movie mind. So, instead of a magnificent Western with scope and vision, we

Like watching people having fun at a party you haven't been invited to

have a cheap Tex/Mex action movie mayor. And there's the lovely Salma directed the movie, he also

shot on high-definition video in seven weeks.

Antonio Banderas has a lot of fun the relationship between the haunted, vengeful El Mariachi and his murdered wife. But the plot is so dramatic and emotional vacuum, ridiculously convoluted that it’s impossible to work out what is going on, or to care which of the characters lives or dies. So, for all its bravura camerawork, Depp as the scheming ex-CIA agent choreographed action and motorcycles chases, it’s like watching people having fun at a party you haven’t been invited to. Rodriguez not only wrote and

reprising his role as the guitar- playing, gun-toting man in black, who wanders into a lawless Mexican town and cleverly plays everyone off against one another. The other actors seem to be enjoying themselves too: Johnny

Sands, and Willem Dafoe as the ruthless, pencil-moustached drug kingpin, Barillo, who‘s planning to assassinate the town’s Mexican


The Italian Job was the first film I ever saw on teleViSion. It was a story about three little cars one red. one white and one blue. Wisely, the producers of this well-tooled remake have junked almost everything but the heist theme, a COuple of character names and the Minis. On paper it's not what Michael Caine w0uld call a ‘great idea'. The cheeky chappie swagger everyone loves has been replaced by bland LA cool. But although this 2003 verSion opens wrth Edward Norton sloppily painting over the top of a masterpiece. it's no desecration. Rather. it's an admirably souped-up retread of the original vehicle.

The cast has been thoughtfully assembled for a gold bullion heist, and also to hit every audience demographic: Seth Green provides neat comedy relief as a boffin who claims to have invented Napster; Jason Statham gets his mechanic/ geezer routines out for the lads as Handsome Rob; Donald Sutherland provides a touchstone for an older generation as a ‘one last heist pro'; Charlize Theron plays one of those 90rgeous safecrackers that only eXist in films; and Mark Wahlberg's scowl is used to good effect. for once.

Only N0rton, twwling his Dick Dastardly moustache Without an ounce of credrbrlity. comes Out as anything other than a winner in the last set of wacky races r0und the streets. drains and skies of LA. But the cars remain the stars in this Mini adventure. (Eddie Harrison)

I General release from Fri 79 Sep.

‘ang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great ldea

Hayek, in some poorly integrated ‘fantasy' flashbacks which flesh out Which means he has nobody but

designed, edited and scored it.

himself to blame for the fact that the likeable performances exist in a

the dialogue is laughably banal, and the characters wafer-thin. Every hint of an idea or striking image in this boring, derivative movie is stolen from another, better film, from Rio Bravo to Mad Max ll. Re- watch one of them instead.

(Nigel Floyd)

I General release from Fri 26 Sep. See feature. page 70.

Braveheart down under?



(15) 109min 00.

There are as many verSions of the Ned Kelly story as there are of that rebellious Scot. William Wallace. This new film version.

based On another novel. Robert Drewe's novel Our Sunshine.

pOrtrays Australia's most famous Outlaw strictly as a folk here. as drd the Tony Rlchardson Mick Jagger 1970 filrn

Some might have a problem wrth the Simplicin of that View. but it does allow director Gregor Jordan lBuffalo Soldiers) to infuse his film wrth the kind of healthy anti- authoritarianism assooated With hrs c0untry's national spirit. Thus. the English colonrals are the Villains of the piece and Kelly, his family and friends are innocent vrctirns forced into a life of crime. This Simplistic View of histOry aside. John M McDonagh's script is also deeply conventional, from the black and white characterisations (Orlando Bloom's nice. handsome outlaw; Geoffrey Rush 's ugly, cruel police Superintendent; Naomi Watts' pretty. posh maidi to blindineg obVious metaphOrs such as Kelly being compared to a caged lion.

Still, Jordan has applied a rugged beauty aesthetic to the folk, flora and fauna of early white settler Australia. which gives the film a gritty authentiCity remrniscent of revisionist westerns of 703 American Cinema. And star Heath Ledger turns in an impresswely mannered performance that recalls Warren Beatty in none other than McCabe and Mrs Miller. (Miles Fielder)

I General release from Fri 27 Sep.


DRAMA LE DIVORCE (12A) 115 min 00

Gm Paris St"? xitillt‘ 80 (tax o" the da\ that Isabel \‘.'aiker hate Hudson teaches down from "w transatlantrc ‘Iigiltt to thrill her sister. Rom tie Persran Nacr‘i- ‘r’atts As she tram dimes at the family homestead, her sister's husband rs daily leaning his [i'vtllttllll Wife. thus beginning the (MAIN of merits in Merchant Ivorys film adaptation of Diane Johnson's .tor'irt‘ novel What follows rt; rnessier than rnost (monies. Isabel embraces l rance and its rnen, while Roxy struggles With the (Il‘.'()l(‘,(?_ the in laws. the pregnancy, the arrival of her parents and the ownershrr) of a painting;

Messier than most divorces

that may or may not be valuable. Joined by veterans of stage and SCreen, including Glenn Close. Stockard Channrng, Leslie Caron and Stephen Fry, the collected crew are, however, let down by a film that seems unable to decide what it is and where it's going. Alternater a corriedy of rnanners. a romance and, most Ineffectively. a thriller, it seems orin able to decide on one thrng looking good. And given the Merchant Ivory values which scream from the screen despite the modern setting, this rs done in a very self-congratulatOry way. If more attention was paid to the plot than the gorgeousness of the food. the country estate or the Hermes handbag. this messy drvOrce COuld have come Out a whole lot cleaner. (Catherine Bromley) I General release from Fri 79 Sep.

78 See-2 CC? 2973 'I’HE LIST 23