SYNOPSIS: He looked like just another day laborer from the streets, and the perfect fall guy for a crooked political assassination. But he turned out to be Machete (Danny Trejo), A legendary ex-federale with a deadly attitude and the skills to match.
REVIEW: Padre Benito del Toro: It's not safe for you to be here.
Machete: I'm not looking for "safe".
Padre Benito del Toro: No, I mean it's not safe for me for you to be here!
That is a fact. When Machete is around, safety is your number one concern because it will be at high risk. This is a perfect example of the type of movie that critics will generally hate and movie goers will generally love . . . it is one of the mysteries of the universe. Remember, I consider myself more a movie goer than a movie critic so I did enjoy it. I can tell you that the majority of the audience at the screening I attended enjoyed it too. This is Robert Rodriguez doing one of the things he does best. Prerequisite: must enjoy Robert Rodriguez and/or Quentin Tarantino type films. He is joined by Ethan Maniquis on this project and it is his directorial debut. Not a bad wing to go under. So yes, this movie is bloody, gory, and somewhat juvenile with plenty of hot girls, hot cars, intense fight sequences, gun play, and blade play (he is called Machete after all, so blades abound). In other words, itís a whole lot of fun. Movies like this are not about artistic value, but rather heavy duty shock value. And believe you me, there are quite a few ďwhat the Ö ?!Ē moments in this picture. If you remember, this movie was previewed in the Grindhouse release (Planet Terror and Death Proof). So it wasnít just filler, it was actually produced and here it is. It easily slides right into the Grindhouse style and could be considered the third movie of the Grindhouse collection. What makes this one a little different though is that even though it is Grindhouse style, it makes a very strong political statement. The controversy over Mexican immigration serves as the backdrop of almost the entire story and it is presented in a simple yet effective way. So believe it or not, the movie actually has some depth to it.
The cast is stellar and in some cases surprising. I was very surprised to hear that Robert DeNiro was cast in this picture; but hey, why not? It wasnít exactly surprising but more like interesting to see people like Don Johnson, Jessica Alba, and Lindsay Lohan in this movie. My biggest concern was with Danny Trejo playing the title character, Machete. Danny has had a huge career playing mostly supporting roles. I donít know of any lead roles he has ever had, at least at this level of a major motion picture. So I wasnít sure how well he would carry the movie being the lead role. I guess you could say that he was sharp . . . pun intended. The acting across the board was about as good as you would expect for this type of movie. The big question mark was Danny before I saw the movie, and my big question mark after watching the movie was Steven Seagal. ď?Ē Thatís all Iím going to say about that. (And Iím a big Steven Seagal fan, but from the early years). The leading ladies, Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez, were effective both in performance and looks. Both of them look trim and in great shape. Iím sure many of you might be curious about Lindsayís contribution. Well, letís just say that her role was right up her alley. Cheech Marin is a guaranteed good contributor especially in this genre.
This is your typical revenge story intertwined with the Mexican immigration issue and the U.S.-Mexican border all wrapped up in a Robert Rodriguez/Grindhouse package. If you can handle that, or stomach it, and have fun with it, then this is the movie for you.
By Cine Marcos
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