Machete was born out of a fake movie trailer that ran before Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror in the double feature Grindhouse with Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. After seeing the trailer, many fans started asking when they would be able to see the entire movie. Robert Rodriguez obviously took note because the movie Machete does not disappoint. I never saw the Grindhouse double feature, mainly because ridiculous amounts of violence and gore are not my cup of tea. After seeing the real trailers for Machete and the buzz surrounding the movie, I thought it was worth a shot. I also thought it was worth seeing this movie on an empty stomach at 10 AM in the morning, just in case.
Machete follows a man named . . . well, Machete (Danny Trejo) that has been wronged by a criminal drug lord or kingpin named Torrez (Steven Seagal) after he kills his wife and possibly his child. Machete escapes Torrez’s clutches and flees to the US. Working illegally as a hired hand, he ends up being hired as a hitman by Booth (Jeff Fahey) to kill Senator McLaughlin (Robert De Niro). Things go wrong in the attempted assassination, and Machete is now being hunted down by Booth, the government, and Immigration agent Santana (Jessica Alba).
The first part of the movie sets the tone for the level of violence, sex, language, nudity, and humor you will find in the rest of the movie. If you can’t handle the part of the movie before the opening credits, the movie is not for you and you might as well leave. If it is right up your alley, sit back and enjoy what is to come. That little taste of the movie let me know that this movie was going to be unlike any movie that I ever willingly went to before. Everything is over the top.
The cast is surprisingly good for this kind of movie. In addition to those actors already mentioned, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez, and Daryl Sabara (Spy Kids) all have great parts in the movie. Those that are fans of Predators may recognize director Nimrod Antal in a small part.
Machete is a Mexploitation film at its best. It is set in Texas and Mexico and was filmed entirely in Austin, Texas. The movie pokes fun at what Americans think are Mexican stereotypes. Now that I live in Texas, some things that are readily associated with Mexican immigrants are more apparent to me (the taco van, hired hand pickup spots, ridiculously souped up cars, and the jingly carts selling soda and popsicles). While being a funny movie, Machete also addresses the illegal Mexican immigrant issue head on, especially given the new Arizona immigrant law that is currently at the forefront of the recent news. The filmmakers did not make this film to win an Academy Award, but to please their audience, have fun, and poke fun at themselves and Americans.
Machete does not want in terms of the creativity and originality. I have never seen someone escape from a hospital using a certain body part or use household kitchen items as deadly weapons. The acting is great and on par for the kind of movie that this is. You could tell that the actors had a good time partaking in this kind of movie madness. My only complaint about the movie would be that it felt a little long to me, even though it has a runtime of 105 minutes. Sometimes the gags could drag on for too long.
The boys will be pleased that there is enough nudity in this film to go around. There are plenty of butt shots and breasts freely frolicking for every guy. There is some Jessica Alba booty which seems to be important to note. Lindsay Lohan is not nude in any shots (sorry, boys). Her long blonde hair is discreetly covering her breasts in any shot. In the scenes where her character April is naked, it is very obviously a body double. The body double has a different length of hair and hairstyle to make it readily apparent that it is not her, combined with the fact that you never see her face in those shots. There is not a lot of eye candy for the girls, unfortunately, unless you think Danny Trejo is hot.
I was skeptical about Machete going into the screening. I thought it would be another violence, gore, and nudity-filled movie that I had absolutely no interest in. I thought it would be horrible. Machete turned out to be a great ride. It had me laughing throughout most of the entire movie, and the violence and gore was so over the top that it was funny, not disgusting. While I have to admit that not everyone will like this movie, I certainly did, and I would highly recommend that you give it a shot (or a taco).
I give Machete 4 “Machete don’t text.” out of 5.