Sunday, November 3, 2013

Machete (2010)(Spoiler Review)

**This review contains spoilers**

Betrayed by the system he believed in, an ex-Federale named Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) wanders the streets of Texas looking for construction work on a daily basis. Machete receives support from Luz (Michelle Rodriguez), the leader of a strong underground movement to help illegal immigrants with legit papers and jobs. Luz uses her taco stand for cover, but Luz and Machete are under the watchful eye of Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba), a no nonsense US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

One day, Machete is forced into accepting an assassination job from Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey) worth $150,000. Under Booth’s orders, Machete must kill Senator John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro), a racist politician, during one of his speeches. Before Machete has a chance to pull he trigger, Booth’s top henchman, Sniper (Shea Whigham) shoots Machete, and as a maimed Machete limps away, Sniper shoots Senator McLaughlin in one of his legs.

After taking some time to heal at Luz‘s house, Machete learns the truth: Booth is Senator McLaughlin’s right hand man. Booth double crossed Machete, because McLaughlin’s failing campaign needed a boost, so Machete was chosen as a fall guy to provide a living example for the threat of dangerous illegal immigrants. Machete works with Luz and Sartana to put a stop to Booth, McLaughlin, and Von Jackson (Don Johnson), a sadistic leader of border patrol vigilantes, and a trusted friend of Senator McLaughlin.

Machete reaches out to his brother/priest Padre (Cheech Marin), and for revenge, Machete invades Booth’s home to surprise his wife, June (Alicia Marek) and his daughter, April (Lindsay Lohan). But Booth recruit’s Osiris Amanpour (Tom Savini), a popular hitman, to teach Machete an unforgettable lesson.

 Machete’s investigation reveals a plot to control the border between Mexico and Texas for Rogelio Torrez (Steven Seagal), a ruthless drug kingpin, and Torrez is the same man, who beheaded Machete’s  wife. With help from Sartana, Luz’s alter ego, She, and others, Machete leads an all-out assault to eliminate Senator McLaughlin, Von, and Machete will stand face to face with Torrez for a fight to the death.

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. After the intro, Seagal doesn’t make another physical appearance until the big battle at the end, because Torrez only appears in sporadic video chats with Booth throughout the movie. 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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