Robert Rodriguez is a multi-faceted director who often shoots, produces and scores many of his films. His debut, El Mariachi gained critical acclaim and was also the first film in the ‘Mexico Trilogy’. A frequent collaborator of Quentin Tarantino, Rodriguez’ status has been propelled to one of the finest directors of this generation.
Rodriguez directs Alita: Battle Angel, based on the manga by Yukito Kishiro, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. To celebrate its release, in cinemas February 6, we’ve rounded up five of Rodriguez’ best films to date.
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL – 2019
When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.
PLANET TERROR – 2007
Produced with Quentin Tarantino, Planet Horror was released as a double feature with Tarantino’s 2007 horror Death Proof under the name Grindhouse. Written, directed, produced and co-edited by Rodriguez, the film follows a group of people as they attempt to survive after an experimental nerve gas is accidentally released at a U.S. military base, turning those exposed into zombies. The film opened to mixed reviews but has since received a cult following.
SIN CITY – 2005
Based on Frank Miller’s 1991 graphic novel of the same name, Sin City opened to critical and commercial success. Written, directed and produced by both Millar and Robert Rodriguez, Sin City pays homage to the graphic for being in black and white while retaining colour for selected objects. The film follows four neo-noir tales, featuring a stellar ensemble cast with the likes of Jessica Alba, Benicio del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Elijah Wood. A sequel was released nine years later, reuniting most of the cast from the original.
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN – 1996
Rodriguez’ first collaboration with Tarantino came in 1996 on the vampire thriller From Dusk Til Dawn. The film enjoyed modest success at the box office but has since been elevated to a cult classic. On the run from a bank robbery that has left several police officers left for dead, Seth (George Clooney) and his loose-canon brother Richie (Quentin Tarantino) set off for the Mexican border. Kidnapping a preacher (Harvey Keitel) and his kids, the brothers cross the border with the family, promising them their release in the borning. But when they head to a truck driver bar, they discover that it happens to be the home base for a gang of vampires and the brothers and hostages are left to fight their way out…
DESPERADO – 1995
Rodriguez second feature picks up at the south of the border in Desperado, a neo-Western thriller, the sequel to his critically-acclaimed debut El Mariachi. Antonio Banderas plays Mariachi, a former musician who seeks revenge on infamous drug lord Bucho (Joaquim De Almedia) for killing his girlfriend. Mariachi ends up tangled in the dark Mexican underworld and with the help of his best friend (Steve Buscemi) and a bookstore owner (Salma Hayek) as he fights for justice. Banderas and Hayek returned once again eight years later in the final instalment of Marachi’s story in Once Upon A Time In Mexico.