Directed by Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez.
Starring Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Jeff Fahey, Cheech Marin, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson and Tom Savini.
An ex-Federale is out for revenge after he is set up, double-crossed and left for dead by a corrupt senator. They call him Machete...
Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis’s latest cinematic offering opened this past weekend in UK cinemas. The story follows a former Mexican Federale named Machete (Danny Trejo) hiding in Texas after a Mexican drug lord killed his family and tried to kill him. Whilst he tries to make an honest living he is hired to kill Senator John McLoughlin (Robert De Niro), but is set up. As almost everyone in Texas looks for Machete he has to battle corrupt politicians and businessmen, vigilantes patrolling the US/Mexican border and immigration officers as well as bedding any women that come within thirty feet of him.
Hollywood supporting role regular Danny Trejo is mean and ruthless as the story’s hero Machete, but does look a little past his best when running across roof tops and being blown out of exploding houses and cars. However, the role does seem made for him. The supporting cast of De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan and Steven Seagal, despite the last of those not looking or sounding like a Mexican drug lord except for his bad fake tan, offer strong support of the leading man who is usually on the fringes.
Machete has obvious undertones of a political statement as it caricatures US politicians, immigration officers, border vigilantes and citizens, to a degree, as well as Mexican immigrants and drug lords. However, the serious statements are a little lost beneath huge explosions, sex with girls a fraction of Machete’s age and an extremely tongue-in-cheek story filled with knife wielding and rolling heads. At one point a naked woman pulls a mobile phone from the only place you could hide it without any pockets and in another machete abseils out of a hospital window using someone’s intestines. The dialogue is so on the nose that every five minutes one character or another will talk for a few minutes to explain their story, someone else’s or fill in any story gaps before the blood bath continues.
If you like chopper motorbikes with machine guns strapped to the front, inexplicable female nudity and lines like, ‘Machete don’t text’ then this film could be for you. The gore is full on, the violence extreme and the leading character devoid of any regret. It goes without saying that the lead character has earned his name, Machete, for his use of a massive blade. The story gets dafter as the film goes on before culminating in a massive shout out.
Machete makes a bold statement through a stupid story with over the top action, dialogue, blood and plot points. It may have been the worst film I’ve seen in a long time, but I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Just don’t expect anything with too much integrity. It’s shamelessly over the top and works because of it.
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