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Machete (2010) Movie Review

September 4, 2010

“Machete” first appeared in a fake trailer created for the Grindhouse movies “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof” collectively released as “Grindhouse” in 2008.  The two movies were an attempt to re-kindle the spirit of the 70s complete with missing reels.  Robert Rodriguez directed “Planet Terror” and the original “Machete” trailer.  Fans cheered when they saw the potential for an extremely offensive balls-to-the-wall action flick in the “Machete” trailer and the full movie delivers on the potential.

Machete (Danny Trejo) was a Federale until his belief in justice did him in.  Now walking the streets of Texas as an illegal day-laborer, Machete just wants to make a living, or so it may seem.  Machete is approached by a man named Booth (Jeff Fahey) who offers him big cash to take out hardcore anti-immigrant Senator McLaughlin (Robert De Niro).  What seems like a simple job turns into a setup leaving Machete shot and running for his life.  Of course, thanks to his training as a killer, Machete brings the hurt and gets revenge.

Machete fights to getg revenge against Booth but also faces off against Mexican drug lord Torrez (Steven Segal).  Helping Machete along the way are ICE agent Sartana (Jessica Alba) and a Mexican named Luz (Michelle Rodriguez).  Cheech Marin also makes an appearance as a violent priest and Lindsay Lohan plays a slutty drug addict.  Fans of Planet Terror will also recognize the babysitter twins in a small role.  Needless to say, there are a number of familiar names here that make the movie more fun.

“Machete” is a hardcore action movie but also manages to be what may be offensive to a few.  Illegal immigrants are referred to in a number of derogatory terms and racial slurs abound among the paramilitary group of border mercenaries and Senator McLaughlin.  There are also a number of scenes that may be seen by some as sacrilegious to the Catholic church.  Most of the “offensive” things are so obviously tongue-in-cheek and fit the movie so well that they work.  There is also a very ironic ending for Senator McLaughlin that I couldn’t help but smile at.

The music consists primarily of hard rock/heavy metal driven by percussion and electric guitar performed by Robert Rodriguez’ band Chingon.  The music is heavy and effective for increasing the adrenaline in the big action scenes.  It’s nice to finally hear some proper guitar shredding and not the usual generic stuff we get when rock guitar is used on a soundtrack.  John Debney also provided additional music for the score.

If you are a fan of big action movies, not easily offended, and don’t mind a little nudity, “Machete” is tons of fun.  Thankfully the nudity is limited to some bare-chested women because the thought of watching Trejo in a sex scene isn’t very appealing.  Rather than showing sex, the act is implied through the use of porno music.  There is some hardcore violence in a few of the action scenes including dismemberment and tons of blood.  The blood feels just right for the scenes and not excessive.  If you are a fan of Robert Rodriguez’ style of cheesy action, “Machete” is great fun and has a much more cohesive plot than “Planet Terror.”

4.5/5

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