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Machete

Starring Danny Trejo and Jeff Fahey, Steven Seagal, Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin and Lindsay Lohan
Screenplay by Roberto Rodriguez and Alvaro Rodriguez
Based on on the "fake" trailer in Roberto Rodriguez's 2007 film Grindhouse
Directed by Roberto Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis
website:

Granted, we didn't like Grindhouse, the Quentin Tarantino and Roberto Rodriguez homage to super low budget bloody movie messes of the 1970s and we didn't think much about the fake trailers Rodriguez shot to fill out the package. But here we are, with one of those "fake" trailers expanded into a full length film. So if you think you know where we are about to go, you're wrong.

IN SHORT: More fun than we've had all summer. [Rated R for Strong Bloody Violence throughout, Language, Some Sexual Content and nudity. minutes]

Simply put, body parts fly from the word go. Blood spurts like fountains. Beautiful young women throw themselves at the lead character, old enough to be their grandfather and weathered like a decomposing leather jacket. Machete is sheer dumb brutal fun and as strange as that sounds, the whole thing is played for laughs and is very very funny

Machete (Danny Trejo) is a ex-Mexican Federale, roaming the streets of Texas after a shakedown by the drug lord Torrez (Steven Seagal) goes bad. Machete's wife is butchered before his eyes and his world goes pfft quicker than you can order "fade to black". Three years later, so the words on the screen tell us, he is working day labor jobs when a fancy white guy in a suit -- a political spin doctor called Booth (Jeff Fahey), offers a $150,000 one day gig. The job? Assassinate Texas state senator John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro), currently campaigning on a platform of "No More Mexicans!" or something close to it. That he isn't doing all that well in the polls is, maybe because he should be running in Arizona (?)

[[Movies are made a long time before states pass laws like Arizona did. We lived in Flagstaff as a kid. Anyone who needs an apology just figure it given...]]

Guarding the border is Von (Don Johnson). Von likes his job -- he shoots first and makes sure to get the kills on videotape -- for the teevee political commercial about keeping the border safe. Always in his sights, a mysterious person code-named "SHE" that has been running illegals over the border,

On the other side of that border, selling tacos and burritos is Luz (Michelle Rodriguez).The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement believes that Luz may be the mysterious code-named SHE which is why ICE.agent Sartana (Jessica Alba) maintains a constant watch on the taco truck that Luz works from. Said site is also where all the illegals hang out, looking to get picked for day labor. There's a running scale of how much for what job and, among all the illegals on the street is one craggy looking old guy. -- Machete. Yes, a shot is taken at the senator but it gets a wee bit more complicated when you ask "who pulled the trigger."

The hIt, of course, is a set up. McLaughlin's hard line stance combined with the shooting kicks him way up in the polls. Machete finds himself hunted from both sides of the law -- the corrupt cops on the political take; the legit cops (like Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.agent Sartana (Jessica Alba); the various criminal mobs, whether organized or not . . . in short, any person that crossed Machete's path in just the right way is soon to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Double crossed and on the run Machete braves the odds with the help of his blood brother Padre (Cheech Marin), a priest who's got his church wired for picture and sound.

There are lots of disposable bits and pieces in the film, the loveliest is that accorded to one Lindsay Lohan as April as the socialite daughter of the evil Booth. By the time the movie is over, the phrase "nun with a gun" will come in to play . . . and we're going to leave it at that.

What? Did you expect detailed exposition from us about a film designed specifically to replicate the low-budget wowsers idolized by Robetto Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Did you think it possible that a film would be so much fun that we would just say SEE THE THING and be done with it ?

Well, of course not. That being written, SEE THE THING unless you have problems with flying body parts or a profusion of four letter words or the most profuse and creative use of household utensils as killing devices in any film since ... well any earlier work by Rodriguez or Tarantino. You figure it out. We don't want to kill the buzz by thinking too hard.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Title, he would have paid . . .

$8.00

Yes Mac hete is sometimes brutal butits tongue is planted firmly in cheek. Even as the heads go rolling along,

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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.