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Machete

A 2010 film directed by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis.

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"MACHETE" Kills and Kills Again...But Machete Doesn't "TEXT"!

  • Sep 5, 2010
Rating:
+4
Those who remember the “Grindhouse Double-feature” in 2007 directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez may remember the fake trailer called “Machete”. Well, what began as a mere gimmick has been adapted to a full-length motion picture and may be the film that makes 66 year-old Danny Trejo into a new star. Rodriguez’s latest film isn’t pretentious, it is a tribute to the ‘grind house films’ in the 70’s with loads of action, violence and blood and some gore. Those who like Rodriguez’s ‘style over substance’ approach in “Planet Terror” and “Desperado” will be right at home with “Machete”. This is NOT a movie to be taken seriously and this movie requires a suspension of disbelief for sure.

Machete (Danny Trejo) was a federale in his homeland until he lost everything he had when he went head-to-head with a big, powerful drug lord called Torrez (Steven Seagal). Now a man without a country, Machete tries to lose himself amid the day laborers in Texas. Now, when he is hired by a shady businessman called Benz (Jeff Fahey) to kill a controversial Senator Mclaughlin (Robert De Niro); Machete becomes the fall guy and finds himself at odds with the law as a Customs-immigration agent Sartana (Jessica Alba) hot on his tail and he finds himself noticed by a Che Guevara figure called Luz (Michelle Rodriguez) who runs a network of immigrants who help each other. Now, Machete must help his fellowmen as they try to put an end to McLaughlin’s vision which is being enforced by a ruthless border vigilante (Don Johnson) and financed by the drug money provided by Torrez himself.

                            Lindsay Lohan in "Machete"

“Machete” is a fable-istic “Mexploitation” (thought I’d borrow that line from a friend) movie that channels what it is meant to do; stylish action and bloody violence with dialogue that is humorously cheesy and an attitude that is cartoonish, unrealistic and exaggerated--but most of all, a lot of fun. Rodriguez does do his stuff pretty well, while he injects some subtle commentary on the political situation in the country regarding illegal immigration and sleazy government officials. Rodriguez doesn’t get too serious with its mild political undertone though, but instead makes his characters the films central focus. Rodriguez has a rare talent for making splatter-blood effects look very cool and it is a credit to his creativity just how he manages the timing and the skill in preventing his movie fall into too much camp.

                  

                   Electra Avellan as Nurse Mona and Elise Avellan as Nurse Lisa in "Machete."

                   Danny Trejo as Machete in "Machete."

Let’s see; there is just something so interesting when you see Rodriguez’s cast of oddball and colorful characters. Cheech Marin plays Machete’s brother who is also a priest (sort of), Jessica Alba is a government agent (who does a fantastic job would you believe?), Michelle Rodriguez is a mysterious woman who becomes totally bad ass and so sexy, Lindsey Lohan is the drug-addicted daughter of Jeff Fahey’s character, there are two sexy nurses (Electra and Elise Avellan) and a perverse doctor, a ‘homey’ who is adopted, Seagal as a drug lord and many others. The characters in the film are what make the movie real fun, which coupled with Rodriguez’s dark sense of perfectly-timed comedic banter, keeps the film aloft. I was a little disappointed that the Torrez’s sexy Asian nymph (Cheryl Chin) wasn’t provided more screen time though.

The story in the film is pretty predictable and this is the not type of film meant to present an intricate plot about conspiracies and corruption. Rodriguez (he also co-writes the script) does try to inject idealism into this script as he presents some south-of-the-border sympathy that may provoke some debate over the reality of immigration in this country. Sure, all its commentary is delivered with some delightful silliness as it makes fun of politicians and extreme political ideas. There is just no way that a viewer can take its subtle themes seriously after we see a totally nude woman outsmart Machete in the film’s opening act and intestines are used as a rope to escape a hospital.

                     Michelle Rodriguez as Luz in "Machete."

                    Danny Trejo as Machete and Steven Seagal as Torrez in "Machete."

                   Jessica Alba as Sartana in "Machete."

Yes, the main draw of “Machete” is its over-the-top action and violence and exaggerated blood effects that are just so much fun to watch. The film is just deliciously violent as Rodriguez exercises his playful, yet mindful hands to project the film’s total mayhem and disorder (Lowriders on hydraulics and murderous gardening tools anyone?). Heads are often lopped off, bodies are blown away, hands are severed, intestines are used as a bungee cord, blood is splattered with a bit of “gore-tacular” effects (some parts used black ink for blood though) and the film is abundant in nudity. This is 100% guy film, with little use of characterization and intricate storytelling. Which brings us to some of the film’s flaws, “Machete” while highly entertaining offers very little new (save for a fake nude Lindsey Lohan) and it feels like I’ve seen all of this somewhere. Also, there are several subplots that made the film feel a little overcooked, but I guess they were necessary to keep the movie from wallowing too much in its violent action and coolness (there such a thing?) Rodriguez’s own band “Chingon” sets out the film’s fitting musical score that gives a nice expression of its intended Mexican mood and tone.

“Machete” is a film that channels what it sets out to do and does it quite well. It is not a film for everyone and is aimed at a very specific audience. I have to say that “Machete” is a sincere tribute to “Grindhouse” cinema and is NEVER pretentious and feels forced. Loved the violence, the goofy silly attitude, the beheadings and the fun atmosphere of the film. It also doesn’t hurt when the film is real polished for a film which is supposed to be B-grade. I remember the silly trailer: “He knows the score and he gets the women.” (Or something like that), hey, Machete kills and kills again…but he doesn’t text…well, mostly. Wonder if Machete emails...or even does 'twitter'? I bet he will in the coming two sequels plugged before the closing credits...

Highly Recommended! [4 Out of 5 Stars]
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 Poster art for "Machete."  Poster art for "Machete."

             

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MACHETE Kills and Kills Again...But Machete Doesn't MACHETE Kills and Kills Again...But Machete Doesn't MACHETE Kills and Kills Again...But Machete Doesn't MACHETE Kills and Kills Again...But Machete Doesn't

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November 08, 2010
This is the second review I've read on this movie; it sounds horribly gory and awful, yet at the same time you guys make it sound like fun--how ironic!! Love your review, as always, and this is one movie I will not be seeing, but the reviews are awesome!!
November 09, 2010
Thanks, Brenda. But give it a whirl sometime soon--maybe you'll like it.
November 09, 2010
It seems the older I'm getting, the less I can stomach too much blood splatter on the screen - OMG what's wrong with me!?!?
November 10, 2010
I'm a horror fan and yet I feel the same way! Go figure that one out. I actually look away at times.
November 11, 2010
Weird stuff huh? I think maybe, for me anyway, it's "blood overload" and overkill. I'd rather be scared and terrorized psychologically than be grossed out these days!! LOL
 
September 14, 2010
No doubt "Machete doesn't text" will be one of the most quoted lines of the year.
November 09, 2010
wonder if he tweets or emails? LOL!
 
September 14, 2010
"Machete Twitters!" Now that would be a great tagline for a fllick! Gotta say I loved this flick it was a ton of fun.
November 09, 2010
Heck Yeah! wonder if Machete would review in this site? ;)
November 10, 2010
I'm fairly certain that Machete also does not review--except with his machete.
November 10, 2010
LOL!
November 10, 2010
His reviews would be full of cutting remarks.
 
September 08, 2010
This movie looks AWESOME. Love the cast, love the director, and love the inspiration. Those are some crazy visuals there. Great review, Woo!
September 08, 2010
Thanks, Lady D! I think Machete will be happy if he had an iphone then he wouldn't feel so angry LOL!
 
September 07, 2010
Fantastic review Mr. William. Saw a nice long trailer for this one at Predators and haven't let it slip from the ol memory banks. I'm going to have to go see this one. Thanks man.
September 07, 2010
You will definitely like this one a lot if you dig Rodriguez's work. The opening scene was classic!
September 07, 2010
glad to see you back, Jason, I got worried there for a minute since you disappeared for a bit...
 
September 06, 2010
I was on the fence about this one, but you've convinced me to see it on the big screen! :) Nice review!!
September 07, 2010
Thanks, Jeff! This had some real high entertainment value. Rodriguez really knows how to do these grindhouse films.
 
September 06, 2010
Wow, this looks like quite a movie. Great review. I wonder why the trailer says, "and introducing Don Johnson."?
September 06, 2010
he-heh. you'll have to see the movie to find that one out; there's a subtle joke around it :)
 
September 05, 2010
LOVED this flick WP, LOVED it, of course you knew I would. I will try to bang out a review for you some time this week but I will be really busy so we will see good Sir. Excellent review as always man in fact you have the most on point statement of this film in your review. "Rodriguez exercises his playful, yet mindful hands to project the film's total mayhem and disorder", well said Sir, well said indeed.
September 05, 2010
Great we'll look forward to it. I think Machete may be the hottest topic in our community right now. "Machete" whetted my appetite to see some more exploitive violence...Piranha 3D here I come!!
 
September 05, 2010
Great deadpan, sort of, line: "There is just no way that a viewer can take its subtle themes seriously after we see a totally nude woman outsmart Machete in the film's opening act and intestines are used as a rope to escape a hospital."
September 05, 2010
ha-hah. Thanks for noticing my little jokes--this movie was just too entertaining that I had to add those lines in; had to match its mood. "Machete doesn't text.." LOL!
 
September 05, 2010
This looks and sounds awesome. I'm sure Alba keeps up her acting chops by acting as cardboard as possible while wearing revealing clothing and it will be interesting to see Seagal again on the big screen. I'm going to see this Monday. Can't wait.
September 05, 2010
I bet you will love it almost as much as The Expendables! You are so right about Alba...LOL! awaiting your review!
 
1 2 Next
More Machete reviews
review by . April 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     Born of a fake trailer and made by the original craftsman, Robert Rodriguez's "Machete" has finally, and recently, released. Before you start reading my two cents on this thing, let me tell you this: read all kinds of reviews for this movie. Some will like it; some will love it; and some will just plain despise it. This is a tasteless, violent, and potentially offensive film that may come off as racist and stereotypical to some, but then again, both things …
review by . September 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Machete Review
   So I managed to watch this for free at an advanced screening (and get lucky seats at the back of the theater. After a few promo giveaways and the film starts... You will probably not blink a single minute of the film...      Here's a backstory to Machete. If you watched Grindhouse and saw the fake trailer, you probably didn't realize that it was gonna be a real movie. Well it is and it follows that similarity from the trailer.      Basically, …
review by . September 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
In 2007 when Grindhouse was released there was a mock trailer for a film called Machete that played.  Apparently Robert Rodriguez liked the idea so much he decided to make it a full blown movie.  This is exactly what you're getting.  If you saw Grindhouse in 2007 (all four of you) then you should know what you're getting.  The movie is crazy violent.  It's over-the-top... it's wholly implausible and makes about as much sense as a mouse eating an elephant.  …
review by . September 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
¡NINGUNA DELICADEZA EN ABSOLUTO!!!!
As this movie starts, you know subtlety is not it's strong point if a point at all.  Danny Trejo and some sidekick are cops who are being warned not to go after a kidnapped girl in a drug lord's house.  Trejo ignores this command by crushing the radio with his hand.  Going full speed in some decepit looking sedan, and heres where this movie shows off that deficency in subtlety.  Storming the house by ramming the car through the front, three guards with automatic rifles …
review by . September 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   There was a film last year that I appreciated quite a bit that was even nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, which didn’t quite make fun of the action genre in the same way Robert Rodriquez’s Machete does, but in the same way both films incorporate a tone in the violence, a sheer thrill and recklessness of what blade is going where, who’s firing what gun, and what 66 year old former prisoner is riding an explosion …
review by . September 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There's no question that Robert Rodriguez's MACHETE is a lot of "guilty pleasure" fun. There's a visceral pleasure to be had from a guy as outstandingly scary looking as Danny Trejo wielding a machete and severing heads and limbs, disemboweling bad guys and general leaving a trail of carnage in his wake.     All of these things were promised in the fake trailer for MACHETE which was presented prior to the start of GRINDHOUSE, the wonderfully crazy experience crafted by Rodriguez …
review by . October 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I KNOW I AM LATE WITH THIS BUT.......
      MACHETE      As any one who knows me can tell you I am a huge Quentin Tarantino fan and a huge Robert Rodriguez fan, so naturally I love their work. This film being another Grindhouse type film especially since it was based on a trailer for that film is really fun. Any one who does not like violence, naked women, and violence should stay away. Also add in that I am a huge Steven Seagal fan and that this film was filmed here in Austin Texas, you know …
review by . September 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Having seen Grindhouse, I remember seeing a funny trailer for a movie called Machete.  I am not sure how the actual movie came about: whether this was an actual trailer or Rodriguez decided to make it due to positive comments on the trailer.  Anyway, I had been trying to find time to see this and I just saw it today in an empty theater.  I could not understand why since this film is one of the best action films I have seen in a long time!      …
Quick Tip by . February 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
No one makes a sleazy, fun, action-packed grindhouse homage quite like Robert Rodriguez and this film is perhaps his best film since "Desperado". Certainly not for the queasy or for people concerned with political correctness, "Machete" delivers on explosive action, edgy humor, some cheap thrills, and lots of gore. This is the kind of film that if taken seriously could be considered not only as offensive due to its exploitative depictions of violence and sex, but it comes off …
Quick Tip by . January 09, 2011
I give MACHETE a single star, and that's mostly b/c I can enjoy a quality B flick as much as the next cinophile. Mostly, I thought the film needed a few more weeks at the writer's desk before they put it before the cameras; clearly, it was a rushed production hoping to capitalize on the political arguments regarding legal and illegal immigration, and there's nothing wrong with that. After the first 20 minutes (or so), the film finally settles into its over-the-top farcical tone, and, from that point …
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William ()
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Machete is a 2010 action horror film, directed by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis. The film stars Danny Trejo in his first lead role as the title character. The film also stars Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, Don Johnson, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Robert DeNiro, Jeff Fahey, and Cheryl Chin. The film is an expansion of a fake trailer Rodriguez directed for the 2007 film Grindhouse and centers around the character of Machete Cortez, who previously appeared as the uncle of the protagonists in the Spy Kids films. Filmed in autumn 2009, the film was released in the United States on September 3, 2010 by 20th Century Fox.
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Details

Genre: Action, Crime
Release Date: September 3, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Robert Rodriguez
Studio: 20th Century Fox, Overnight Productions, Hyde Park Entertainment, Troublemaker Studios
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