MOVIE REVIEW: Machete (2010)

In anticipation the of the soon-to-be-released sequel Machete Kills!

“Machete don’t text.”

MACHETE (2010, 20th Century Fox)

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

I really didn’t know what to expect when I bought Machete, sight unseen.  Can you really expand a novelty joke movie trailer into a full length movie?  If so, can you have it remain as funny, as action packed, and creative as that 3 minute spot? Robert Rodriguez answers us, “Yes”!

“They just fucked with the wrong Mexican”

Danny Trejo is awesome as our anti-hero and titular character. An unemployed machete-wielding vigilante, he has been offered a considerable sum of money to assassinate a corrupt senator (Robert DeNiro). However, it’s a double cross! The attempted shooting only boosts the senator’s popularity, thus ensuring his election victory, based on anti-immigrant propaganda.

Machete is not alone. His brother the Padre (Cheech Marin) is a gun-totin’ pot-smokin’ priest with a determination to right some wrongs. Blood, gore, people’s intestines being ripped out and used as a rope…this movie has everything you were hoping for and some things you weren’t. Done in the same campy style as Grindhouse, scratchy film and all, if you’re in on the joke you will love Machete. If you don’t get it, hey that’s cool.  They’re still making Fast & Furious films.

Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Steven Segal round out the cast, and they were all clearly having a blast. DeNiro especially seems like he was having a great time camping it up with his cheesiest character yet. And then there’s the most overrated star of all time, Lindsay Lohan. I’m not sure what she’s doing here, except to attract some more viewers who want to see her frolicking around topless.

Blu-ray bonus features are kind of sparse, but there are deleted scenes. There’s also an audience reaction audio track, and I always enjoy those with a film like this.  It gives you the feeling of being there in the theater.  Still, I was hoping for more bonus features, like another one of Robert’s cooking features. They’re fun. Ahh well.

If you are a fan of this genre, and liked movies such as Grindhouse or Black Dynamite, you will love Machete. If you’re looking for glossy Hollywood action, look elsewhere.

5/5 stars

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17 comments

  1. I saw this. It was silly. I mean, the Grindhouse-style movie is always silly, that’s the point, right? This one nails it, in that respect. I remember Michelle Rodriguez looking very hot in it, though. Maybe it was the eyepatch. Or it could have been the abs… It was probably the abs.

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  2. Seeing Cheech Marin as a padre, alone, would be worth watching the movie. I love stupid/funny movies like this. Ever see “Suck”? It’s a stupid/funny rock and roll/vampire movie.

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    1. Cheech is awesome in this movie. I have heard of “Suck” but never seen it. I don’t actually watch movies that frequently anymore. I go through phases and I’m in a solid music phase these last couple years.

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  3. I had the same low expectations that you did before I saw this movie, but Machete was so much better than it had the right to be. Of all the fake trailers from Grindhouse, I was hoping for a full-length Thanksgiving. Not only was that my favorite trailer, but I even used it as inspiration for a voice-over I did for a recently-released low-budget horror movie called President’s Day (see the YouTube clip at the bottom of this comment…the Thanksgiving homage comes at the end). The Machete trailer looked cool but I had no interest in an actual movie…until they made one and it’s f**kin’ great.

    Excellent write-up…and cool action figure.

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    1. Well now I have a voice to go with the face!

      Thanksgiving was not one I was really interested in personally. I love Edgar Wright but that trailer didn’t do anything for me the way Werewolf Women of the SS and Machete did!

      There was a fifth Grindhouse trailer called Hobo With A Shotgun, and now that movie has also been made, starring Rutger Hauer. I’ve written a review (as yet unposted).

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      1. Surprised to hear that you didn’t love the Thanksgiving trailer. There was something about the deadpan voice & old-school horror vibe that just spoke to me. The other trailers were great but didn’t impact me as much (although “Don’t” always cracks me up).

        In case you were curious, that voice-over isn’t actually how I talk. As Jon Lovitz used to say on SNL: “ACTING!”

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        1. Really?? Because I talk like that all the time! (kidding)

          I’m actually due for the Grindhouse re-watch soon. I’ll probably have to split it over 2 days, but that movie continues to grow on me the more I watch it. So, I shall have to check out the Thanksgiving trailer again. The voice is indeed hilarious in that one.

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        2. That would be a cool voice to use in everyday life…if you want to have no friends. Haha.

          I also need to re-watch Grindhouse. It’s a long one to get through between the two movies & trailers, but lots of fun. I loved Planet Terror more than I expected to, and I think Death Proof will get better with each viewing.

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        3. I saw Death Proof first because originally you had to buy them separately. I like it, I’d put it in my top 3 Tarantinos (Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill being the other 2).

          Like you, Planet Terror took me completely by surprise, and I tend to like it more with each viewing. Josh Brolin’s great. I liked him in that Coen Brothers film, and even in W.

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