Directed by: Ethan Maniquis, Robert Rodriguez
Written by: Álvaro Rodríguez, Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Daryl Sabara, Jeff Fahey, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal, Tom Savini
Ever heard the saying “too much of a good thing is no good at all”?. Well, sadly, thats exaclty what we have here. Being a fair old fan of Rodriguez, i LOVED El Mariachi and Desperado and i thought Planet Terror was the stronger of his and Tarantino’s Grindhouse double a few years back. My excitement was pretty high for this, considering the director, awesome cast and reliable tale of revenge. Maybe it caught me on an off day, but it was enjoyable but i actually found myself getting very bored just past half way.
Machete is a detective, or police officer, or something and he is out to save a young girl but is told to stop by his superior. Macehte is on the rampage and ignores the orders and goes inot this house, all machete’s blazing! This opening scene is awesome as Danny Trejo literally slices up his enemies and the effects are superb. One of my favourite scenes is where about 5 guys with guns surround him and he lifts up his machete and spins, cutting them all up and killing the lot! There is blood galore and its violent as ell. There is something far more disturbing watching a lunatic with a machete rather than a lunatic with a gun. Anyway, turns out the girl doesn’t want to be saved, and the police are all under the control of Steven Seagals drug lord. Seagal makes his entrance, he puts on a terrible Mexican accent, god its awful, but its good to see him back in a big budget movie. Machete is set up, and becomes enraged and then we shoot forward to now. Machete is all but wasted, no real job and he has become an immigrant.
Immigration is the key here, as its talked about almost as often as Danny Trejo frowns. Robert De Niro plays the racist senator demanding immigrants leave the country and uses vile ways to get rid of them or stop them coming in in the first place. Michelle Rodrigueuz plays some dodgy taco bar saleswoman who has other agendas. Jessica Alba is the sexy immigration officer keeping a close eye on whats happening. Jeff Fahey plays one of De Niro’s closest associates, but wants De Niro out as immigrants work cheap! Machete is hired to kill De Niro, but things go wrong, Machete goes on the run, and uses this an a way of getting back at the system and also at the drug lord who pissed him off so much.
You don’t even need half a brain to follow the plot, but this is perfect beer movie stuff. My main concern is the lack of spectacle. There are too many big scenes involving big fights, guns and people being sliced up and they soon become watered down and less effective. Some scenes do stand out, like a vicious hospital scene where Machete makes his own weapons using hospital tools. A few of these scenes actually made me wince All the cast are clearly having the time of their life, especially De Niro. Danny Trejo CAN hold a film by himself too, and for his sake, I feel bad not liking this movie. Well, I won’t say i didn’t like it, its just by half way through all the fun was sucked out of it, you’d already seen everything it had to offer. There is plenty of very fine looking ladies not wearing much, and there is a genius scene with Machete, Lindsay Lohan and her Mum Oh, and keep an eyes out for the 2 nurses, PHWOARRR!!!!!
To finish up, Machete ain’t a bad film, but its not a good one either. It sits nicely in the middle. It’s easily forgettable, but good fun while its on. The violence will keep you all very happy, as will the half naked ladies, oh and just for Lost Highway, Trejo removes his top more than once Watch this with plenty of beer, whisky, vodka or whatever your tipple is and you’ll probably really enjoy it, its just i watched it sober and it does get a bit tiresome. Maybe cinemas should actually hand out a few beers with the tickets?