Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Machete (2010) * * *

Cast: Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, Tom Savini

Rodriguez follows up Planet Terror by making a movie out of the fake trailer promised 3 years ago in the undeserved flop of Grindhouse, the result all things considered are fairly successful as Machete finds Danny Trejo as an ex-federale turned day laborer who is forced by Booth (Fahey) to be the triggerman of a prominent Senator McLaughlin (De Niro, in a performance which shows actual enthusiasm for once) when things go awry Trejo starts using such things like weedwackers and of course machetes to get even with the bad guys who doublecrossed him, unable to stop him, Booth calls in the talents of minute men militia leader Jackson (Johnson) and Machete’s old foe Torrez (Seagal, in one of his best turns) to dispatch him once and for all. Aiding our hero is the help of She (Rodriguez) a leader of a gang of miffed Mexicans and straight and narrow Border cop Rivera (Alba, the film’s weakest performance) with Lindsay Lohan just sort of showing up in a nun’s habit toting a gun in the fire ball fueled finale. Machete isn’t 100% as great as the original trailer promised, but it does move and manages to be enjoyable in a silly homage type of way. Rodriguez does seem to be trying a little too hard and the film seems to be too tongue in cheek (especially in comparison to the blaxploitation flicks) but Machete works due to the cast which all provide great characters in their own right. The villains in particular played by Fahey, Johnson, De Niro and (surprisingly) Seagal all provide excellent fodder for Trejo to mow down for our entertainment. Trejo meanwhile has the charisma and swagger to recall Charles Bronson. Indeed the only real downside is the ladies in the cast, as Lohan fares the best but has a character that is badly written, Rodriguez just seems to disappear and return at regular intervals when the plot requires it and Alba is depressingly vapid. That said the film moves at a brisk pace, the action is well staged and the movie works on its own ridiculous level. Machete then is trash, but of the fun variety.


  1. This is the rare movie where Seagal actually looked like he he was having fun. And as a result, he gave the best performance of his career. His final scene will become legendary, mark my words.

  2. Oh I think it already is legendary. The whole performance is. I sort of thought that Seagal just gave up and cashed in on his persona but he showed real chops here. I would argue this is not as good as Planet Terror, but better than Death Proof. Speaking of Death Proof, I really need to get some Kurt Russell up here. In fact I need to get the classic Arnold, Sly and Bruce up. I need to get a few Van Damme flicks up and change the rating for Timecop. Also need to get some Seagal up as well. Dolph I think pretty good on, I think the only classic Dolph I don't have is Russian Specialist, Silent Trigger and Army Of One. Chuck Norris I have to tons...starting with Invasion USA and Delta Force. Damn writing intensive class (they zap your time and give you writing block when you get free time)