Sunday, November 3, 2013

Machete (2010)(Minor Spoilers Review)

**This review contains MINOR spoilers, no character deaths, plot twists, or big reveals**

Wandering the streets of Texas, an ex-Federale name Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) is forced into accepting a $150,000 offer from Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey). Booth orders Machete to assassinate Senator John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro), a racist politician, but one shot from Sniper (Shea Whigham) wounds Machete before he can pull the trigger.

Machete is the prime suspect in Senator McLaughlin’s shooting. With no one else to turn to, Machete seeks help from his brother/priest Padre (Cheech Marin), and Luz (Michelle Rodriguez), the leader of a strong underground movement to help illegal immigrants with legit papers and jobs. Machete has some fun with Booth’s wife, June (Alicia Marek) and his daughter, April (Lindsay Lohan), but Machete runs into some unexpected trouble, when he crosses paths with Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba), a no nonsense US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

Machete’s quest for the truth leads him to a confrontation with an old nemesis named Rogelio Torrez (Steven Seagal), a ruthless drug kingpin, and a final showdown with every evildoer in Texas, including Von Jackson (Don Johnson), a sadistic leader of border patrol vigilantes, and a trusted friend of Senator McLaughlin.

Danny Trejo slices and hacks his way to an enjoyable performance as Machete, and Trejo is good for a few laughs with some hilarious one-liners including “Machete don’t text” or “This is the boss” (referring to his trusted machete). Trejo is a riot in the leading role, and he’s surrounded by a rock solid supporting cast.

De Niro is a detestable phony and racist politician, Fahey a nice fit for the ruthless killer with no mercy, and Don Johnson isn’t bad, but he’s overshadowed by De Niro and Fahey for the antagonist side of Machete. Seagal? I have no major gripes about the quality of his performance, and technically, Seagal is the primary antagonist, but Torrez’s screen time is cut short here. You won’t see She until the final battle, but Rodriguez stays within her niche, as a tough and combative fighter for another consistent performance. And Jessica Alba is harmless as Sartana.

After the mock trailer for Machete, I only had one thought on my mind: “Yeah, there’s no way this could work as a full length feature film.” The fake trailer was good for a few cheap laughs, but I still had my doubts. Well, I was wrong. Machete is a cartoonish and screwy romp of brutal over the top violence, and this action-comedy exploitation adventure is loaded with some good laughs, hilarious one-liners, and tons of gleeful bloody gore. Machete is packed with endless amounts of fun, and with more time, it wouldn’t surprise me if Machete developed a stronger following as a true cult classic.

Rating: 6/10

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