Machete – Mini Review

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I’ve had a taste of Robert Rodriguez’s love of the ridiculous with Planet Terror, but I was not prepared for the bar he raised with Machete.

I think if Machete had been made by anyone else, it would be some terrible film on a channel like Movies4Men or whatever equivalent TV channel across the world. The concept itself isn’t that crazy, but the way the film plays out is. Machete is an ex law enforcer in Mexico who is betrayed and left for dead, only to resurface in Texas three years later, where an assassination contract drags him into an immigration and drug war. The important factor is that the film knows what it is, that being Rodriguez’s continuing homage to the American exploitation films of the 1970s. Because of that, like his last “grindhouse” film Planet Terror, it never takes itself seriously and goes above and beyond ridiculous. The action is fun to watch, the amount of gore may be nauseating for some and if you’ve seen the trailer, then you’ll know that Machete uses a guy’s intestines to fly through a window and at one point has a bike with a minigun on top of it while riding away from an explosion. That pretty much sums up the whole tone of the film. At what is essentially a revenge film, there’s a priest with a two shotguns, a Danny Trejo with a love for sharp objects and women and for the Lost fans, goddamn Lapidus (Jeff Fahey), making a returning appearance from Planet Terror to be a kickass villain. There’s also Michelle Rodriguez, but she doesn’t say too much so it’s not much of a problem. The impression I got at the end of the film is that if you’ve seen the trailer and thought you’d enjoy Machete, you will enjoy it. It’s technically not a good film by any means but if you’re willing to turn off your brain for two hours to watch an over the top action movie with ridiculous characters, then you’ll find a lot to enjoy in Machete. It’s a genuinely fun film to watch with a decent cast to boot. If you want to watch that trailer, then here it is.

(PS: Yes I’m aware that Machete was originally a fake trailer attached to the Grindhouse project, but I’m judging the film on its own merits. The trailer linked is the trailer for the actual film.)

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