An ex Mexican Federale they call “Machete” (Danny Trejo) is screwed over by drug lord Torrez (Steven Seagal) and 3 years later he’s set up, double crossed and left for dead by a shady suit named Booth (Jeff Fahey). Dude can’t catch a break! You bet heads are gonna roll!
I absolve you of all your sins. Now get the f*ck out. - Padre
DANNY TREJO has a unique look/presence that spell ultimate badass onscreen. You can’t get around it, its there, you see it, it whoops ya. The dude has played a tough guy in everything from LOCK UP, CON AIR, HEAT, MARKED FOR DEATH, SHOOT THE HERO and of course his memorable stint as the knife wielding hitman in DESPERADO. He has deserved his own high profile movie for a while now, and I’m really happy for him that he finally got it in MACHETE. Of course MACHETE was originally a faux trailer tagged to the Tarantino/Rodriguez opus GRINHOUSE (2007) and much like many of you, when I saw that reel, I jonesed for a feature version of it big time…and now I got it. So did it deliver?
I never thought it would take me a couple of days to digest MACHETE for me to know how I felt about it…but that’s what it took, that, and a couple of Jack and Cokes and now I know the dealio. The first 25 minutes of the movie or so were pure, cranked to the max grindhouse genius. The violence was beyond extreme, the audio/sight gags hilarious (hearing the Six Million Dollar Man sound effect every time Seagal whipped out his sword had me in stitches) and the flick sported its f*ck you attitude proudly on its chunky salsa, ladyhoney and Tequila stained sleeve (ever see a chick whip out a cell phone out of her snatch? You will now). I was having an unadulterated blast! What about the plot you may ask? There is one, more than you would think. Think a mix of revenge opus and satirical takes on illegal immigration in the good old US of A. I was all good with it! The movie did the doo as a payback jamboree while delivering its message in a cheeky manner hence making it go down easier than a stogie after a good hump session.
And what about that cast! Phenomenal to say the least. Danny Trejo was at his Trejo-ish best and I couldn’t have asked for more. His facial expressions spoke volumes. Tight! Jeff Fahey owned the screen like no other, Steven Seagal made for an amusing villain (I love that Spanish word he always used...LOL), the charismatic Don Johnson had me miss the DEAD BANG days, Bobby De Niro had so much fun with his role that I had hoot watching him and Cheech Marin stole every damn scene he was in. I wanted more of Padre man! He should get his own movie! The ladies came through too! Yummie Jessica Alba had the most screen time and she was mucho credible while Michelle Rodriguez brought depth to what could have been a one-note role. Tag to that a myriad of action scenes that carved a smile on my face (a lot of them reminded me the pow-pow bits in Desperado structure wise), and enough female flesh to fill in an hour and a half of alone time and you get a good, horny, grisly and shameless times at the movies. Am actually surprised this got an R Rating. The MPAA must have been “bonging” when they saw this one! Nuts!
So what was my problem with MACHETE then? Over ambition. Its story went too far, it had too many characters and not enough time to explore them properly. The whole thing became bloated after a while bogging down what was at first a simple yet effective narrative line. I mean straight up; why was Lindsay Lohan in this film? Yeah I dug seeing her bare, white, unhealthy looking titties and I’d f*ck her mouth blue in a second, but she brought nothing to the story. Same went for the Babysitter Twins, I’d nail them doggy bareback, but their "look we're here" presence was pointless. In the name of pleasing the fanboy masses there was too much filler here and that resulted in a film that was 20 minutes longer than it should have been. Moreover, the flick had pacing issues in its middle section and a visual style that was inconsistent (sometimes razor stylish, other times too basic). Finally, the final fight let me down a tad (Seagal is better than that, his last moments were gold thought) and the finale wasn’t all that it could’ve been as to its execution (felt rushed) and lost me with its choice of tone (too goofy for me)
On the whole thought MACHETE hit my spot for the most part even with flaws in tow. It gave me a healthy dose of Trejo, laughs, female skin, violence galore, a kool as shaved twat score and surprisingly strong female characters. It’s definitely a niche film, nothing mainstream here, but I hope that its audience will go out and support Trejo and the type of movie it is. RISE UP CABRONES!
If I had to list all of the EXTREME gore gags found in this flick, I’d be typing all week… it was ridiculous! Machete made the PUNISHER WAR ZONE look like a bitch! We got machete stabbings, beheadings, slashings, throat slits, an intestine rope, a corkscrew in the eye, gun shots in the face, a nasty crucifixion and more, more, more! PURE PLASMA MADNESS!
There were enough popped out breasts and bare tight rumps here to fill up any man’s wet dream mental cabinet. Stroke on!
MACHETE was exploitation at the extreme; high brutality, smutty sex, insane sight gags, an un-PC attitude… the flick didn’t give a shit and I respected that. It also sported a solid cast, a somewhat thought provoking take on the whole USA/Mexico border struggle and Danny motherf*cking Trejo doing his inimitable schtick as the lead. Yeah I wish the movie would have kept it simpler and less populated. Pacing issues grated me as well and the last block lost me with its zany tone and rushed execution. To be honest, I went back and forth on this one's rating for a bit, cause its flaws were pretty severe IMO. But after mucho thought on the matter, MACHETE's outlandish and unrepentant nature won me over. If you like your films red wet and rabies wild, MACHETE is for you! An ideal pick to see with the boys with beers in tow while the old ladies are out cheating on yall!
Robert Rodriguez wrote the script back in 1993 after he wrote the screenplay for Desperado (1995).
After reading the script, actor Chris Cooper turned down the Robert DeNiro role in the movie saying "it's the most absurd thing I've ever read".
This is the third time Steven Seagal and Danny Trejo have been in the same movie. Trejo was also in Marked for Death (1990) and in Urban Justice (2007).