Film Review – Machete

After the infuriating disappointment of The Expendables, I tried to scale back my anticipation of Machete. I saw the previews for both about the same time and thought these were going to be the two best films of 2010. The Expendables let me down in a serious way, but Machete did NOT. Thank you, Danny Trejo.

Here’s the plot, not that it even matters. Machete (Danny Trejo) is a Mexican federale who is able to use guns, but prefers machetes and chopping people’s body parts off. The bad guy (Steven Seagal)(who I’ll remind you is NOT Mexican) is in charge of all the criminal activity in Mexico, including controlling the federales. Seagal kills Machete’s wife and Machete heads to Texas to forget his past and find work. Someone hires him to kill a senator (played by Robert DeNiro), but as it turns out, Seagal is behind it all. The legend of Machete is known throughout the Mexican immigrant population and he eventually teams up with a female vigilante named She (played by Michelle Rodriguez). I’ll leave the plot at that, so I don’t ruin anything for you.

Keep in mind this film is shot like Grindhouse and From Dusk To Dawn. It’s gritty and intentionally cheesy and fun, but it’s also graphic. You’ll crack up, even though there is a guy on the screen chopping people down like foliage in the jungle.

Here are a couple of side notes that should convince you to go see this film. Cheech Marin plays Machete’s brother – a priest in Texas that totes some serious shotgun action. Jeff Fahey plays Deniro’s assistant, and is the one who accidentally hires Machete to kill the senator. Lindsay Lohan plays Fahey’s daughter – a meth-head tramp whom daddy has to cover for all the time. Jessica Alba plays an immigration officer who is still loyal to the immigrant cause that she fights against. Don Johnson is a vigilante border patrol guy who is buddy buddy with DeNiro, so he’s allowed to drive the fences and shoot immigrants. Great appearances by some well-known (I ALMOST said “good”) actors who clearly enjoy their roles in this amazing film.

The opening scene of this film sets the stage for what you’re going to see for the next hour or so: Danny Trejo chopping criminals with a machete while trying to save a girl. The girl turns out to be working for Seagal, but Machete finds out too late. There’s blood everywhere and slow motion chopping and splattering. Overall, I’d give the action in this film a super thumbs up, especially for creativity. Machete puts a bunch of blades on a weed whacker and does some killing. Then he puts a bunch of scalpels on a bedsheet and does some killing. Anything with a point on it can be used by Machete, including a corkscrew.

Then there are the ladies. There’s gratuitous and hilarious nudity in this film. What’s even more hilarious (and I heard some people don’t like) is when Machete is about to lay pipe, the music instantly switches to this 70’s porn funk – incredible, unbelievable, hilarious, and brilliant.

Yes, there are some really far fetched scenes that would never ever ever ever happen, but the fact that Robert Rodriguez pulls them off speaks volumes to both his cojones and his talent as a director. In fact, there are a couple of completely ridiculous CGI things in the film which are so outlandish I HAD to crack up instead of screaming “HORSE$H!T!!!!!” in the theater (like I usually do). Rodriguez isn’t trying to make you believe it’s real – he’s entertaining and taking the outlandish awesomeness to a new level. And he does it with a smile and a campy one liner from Danny Trejo. “Machete don’t text.”

The acting in this movie isn’t polished and flawless. I mean Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, and Cheech Marin are in this film. And SOME people have complained that the movie fizzles at the end. I don’t really think it did, frankly. Seriously, a motor cycle with a giant machine gun on it isn’t fizzling in my book (which no one has read).

I saw this movie with three ladies (I’m basically Machete, myself). Two LOVED it and one just didn’t get it. Yes, there’s blood, but it’s not scary monster gore. It’s done with an over-the-top flair and a wink. I know it’s still early, but I think this film is getting my vote for best film of 2010. I will see this one again in the theater and I will own it as soon as it is out on DVD. I hope I’m not hyping it up too much, but I really was amazed by this film.

(5 out of 5 fus)


I'm a cross between Taylor Swift and Danzig, with a small dose of Christpher Burke thrown in. I like fried foods wrapped in bacon and I collect B-movies and kung-fu films. I host a regularly-occuring Bad Movie Night for 20-30 of my closest friends—jealous, aren't you?

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