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Rodriguez has gone from backyard to back lot in one jump, but he hasn't lost his pizazz as director and editor. The picture is great kinetic fun--an explosion of pop talent. As El Mariachi says, "It's easier to pull the trigger than to play a guitar--easier to destroy than to create." Rodriguez does both. Scaling the studio wall with this vigorous remake, he proves he can be both an artist and a hired gun. His future will be fun to watch.
There's nothing radical about most of these independent films; they're call-ing cards for directors with Hollywood dreams. They take old-fashioned genres and show the big boys how to do it in an even more old-fashioned way: small, smart and cheap. For these pictures are the soapbox racers that dare to compete against the sleek but bland big-studio vehicles. And who wouldn't prefer the Indie 500 to Hollywood's Formula One?