3 Mexican Standoffs In Film That Went From Bad To Worse
The Mexican standoff is a popular trope in action movies and thrillers, even when the story has nothing at all to do with Mexico. It's probably because of the inherent drama of three parties, each with the others in their gun sights - or it might be because it's easier to end your movie with a Mexican standoff than it is to think up something new (a Swiss impasse, perhaps?). Anyway, here are three Mexican standoffs in film, for your viewing pleasure. Now, freeze!
"The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"
Probably the most famous western Mexican standoff, the climactic scene between the three titular characters of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" has been parodied so often that you probably know it even if you've never seen the movie. Of course, going "from bad to worse" is a relative term, since Clint Eastwood (The Good) ends up with untold riches in gold, while The Bad and The Ugly end up dead and stranded in the desert, respectively.
Here's a little math lesson for you: Sometimes a Mexican standoff can have a lot more than three people - just watch "True Romance," in which the cops, the mob, and Christian Slater are all trying to get (or keep) their hands on a briefcase full of cocaine. You've also got a police informant, a big shot movie producer's security staff, and Christian Slater's girlfriend caught in the middle. It's not long before the bullets, cocaine, and feathers are flying, and almost nobody gets out unscathed. Getting out scathed is still a lot better than not getting out at all, though.
Here's a much more classical Mexican standoff, involving crime boss Gene Tierney, undercover cop Tim Roth, gangster Harvey Keitel, and the crime boss' son Chris Penn. Of course, Tim Roth is lying bleeding on the floor, so it's up to the other three to form their Mexican standoff. And it certainly goes south from there - the debate over exactly who shot who rages on the internet, but one thing is certain: Everybody gets shot. The lesson here is don't get into a Mexican standoff unless you're prepared to get shot, too.