Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror) and friends are at it again. Born through the Grindhouse movement that produced Planet Terror and Death Proof, Machete is the ugly child from that union. Originally as a trailer sandwiched between those two throwback movies, Machete has finally become a feature length picture despite the trailer’s original purpose.
Using what was visually shown in that trailer, the writers Robert and Alvaro Rodriguez used those snippets as key points to create the screenplay and filled in the blanks with a plot, sort of. The plot being a very easy to follow story of a former federali that is framed for the attempted assassination of a Texas senator, even though he was actually hired to do the job.
Machete, the ex-federali played by Danny Trejo, is a hamburger face hard nosed no bullshit Mexican vigilante who wants to help a network of illegal immigrants to get help in America. His efforts are hindered by Senator McLaughlin (Robert De Niro) and his aide (Jeff Fahey) who aim to build an electric fence along the Mexican/American border, as well as the Mexican drug lord Torrez played by Steven Seagal who wishes to end the life of this former thorn in his side.
This movie tries hard to push the envelop in the sake of humor but forgets what made these exploitation films so enjoyable, they took themselves very seriously. The obvious fake blood, both organic and computer generated, the almost pornographic quality to the film score and choppy editing techniques were the best that the grindhouse movement could produce. It’s almost too much for Rodriguez to cash into this cow once again but the fans don’t seem to mind.
Shortly after the film begins and Machete has chopped a dozen henchmen to pieces, he gets betrayed by the girl he was saving. When she pulls out a phone from her very fully nude body, you realize this is not a film to be analyzed but just to be enjoyed despite its very sexist and juvenile nature. Every Mexican and border joke out there will not prepare you for the inane humor this movie will throw at you. Despite that, you will still laugh more that you will be comfortable with.
Like all Robert Rodriguez films every single speaking role has some sort of listed actor. Compensating for his simple directing style we are left focusing on the many actors running around playing his parts. Is Machete a good film? No, not even close. Are you going to enjoy it? You know before you see it if you going to like it, and that feeling you have is really going to be true with this film.
Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, language, some sexual content and nudity.