Monday, September 6, 2010

Film Review: Machete (2010)



Machete is pure fucking heavy metal.

That's what I would submit to Rotten Tomatoes (73% as of this posting) if my blog was cool enough for them to come knocking on my door for my review one day. The film is unrelenting in its violent gore and sustains its cool meat-headed wit throughout the entire running time. It feels as though the Robert Rodriguez film making crew made the movie smirking the whole way through. While the summer winds down and the films that are released these next few weeks kind of sputter out to make way for the new holiday Oscar contenders and October rush of horror films and Saw movies (see what I did there?)...it's nice to see a film come crashing into the theater and deliver nothing but unabashed mindless fun and solid entertainment for your hard earned peso.


Danny Trejo is the top bill here and make no mistake he's the badass you paid to see. He plays Machete with such hardcore violent fervor...I swear the man was born with tattoos, a moustache and a machete in his hand. There's a scene in the very beginning that contains multiple beheadings (too many to count), gratuitous female nudity (inventive cellphone holder), and so much over the top bloodshed that it's a wonder Mr. Trejo keeps the viewer firmly planted on the main focus of the film....Machete.


The film has such a rich all star cast that it sometimes blows the mind as to how Robert Rodriguez convinced everyone to be in a film based on a mock trailer to a double feature film paying homage to the exploitation films of the 70's. I think the strongest of the leads are Michelle Rodriguez and Jeff Fahey. Both of which cemented their careers with generically based one-note films that carry no real weight. However, director Rodriguez pulls their performances out of them and enables the viewer to see their talents that have been their all along to a more subtle degree. I'd be surprised if this film contains the peak of their abilities and they disappear into obscurity after Machete.


Cheech Marin is also great in this. But, then...he pretty much shines in whatever he does. In this balls out film though, he's a gun-toting padre who happens to be Machete's brother. He's got a hand-full of quotable scenes as well as offering a great alternative to the Cuban cigar.

Having mentioned the good...I'll also note that Robert DeNiro as a corrupt Texas senator and Jessica Alba as an ICE agent are pretty forgettable in their roles. Although, Alba does have a nude scene in the film...her acting talents are really none existent. But, she does have a nude scene...albeit a precariously filmed nude scene. Speaking of nude scenes..it's pretty well publicized that Lindsay Lohan, in a role she was born to play, has a nude scene in this bad boy, too. Although, hers is more of the "stand in body double" variety nude scene (aside from a scant glimpse of her "talents" in a later scene). Wow...I feel like this review is turning into a Mr. Skin entry.

Don Johnson is good. Oh...and you know who else shows up to the party?? Steven "Yo, fucknuts!" Seagal as a Mexican (??!!) drug lord. Damn..even the kid from Spy Kids shows up as an adopted ese.


The only complaint I had about this film is that sometimes the "plot" tends to be so tedious (something about a corrupt senator hatching a plan to frame Machete in a plot to be re-elected and join forces with a Mexican drug lord in order to keep the money flowing) it really comes across as a blatant excuse to fill the space in between action set pieces. Kinda like the break between heavy metal bands during a concert. I wished they served beer at the theater I went to. There's one scene where Machete uses some one's intestines to swing out of a window into the next floor below. I mean...come on, man...you just want the whole film to sustain that intensity all the way through...fuck the dialogue and the political bullshit.


Machete is the type of film that you watch if you're looking for something that won't sing you a lullaby and hug you with its sentimental commentary on the happenings of the world today. It's a film that will throw a few "fuck yous" to the Arizona immigration climate while cranking its stereo really loud and driving off in its low rider Impala. Coming to the close of the summer movie season....Machete is the film equivalent of Slayer closing out a concert.

Machete is a solid 8.5 out of 10 for gore, guns, girls and weed whackers.


Thank you for reading,

bryan.

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