Machete is an old school, grind house action flick with guns, knives, and a strong political undertone. The last description doesn’t really fit but that didn’t stop Robert Rodriguez from using this trailer turned film to vocalize his disdain for U.S. immigration policies. The filmmaker has a huge bone to pick but instead of addressing Congress, he’s taking his argument to the theater!

Check out the review…

The Players:

The Plot:

Machete follows an ex-federale who is betrayed by his superiors in his native Mexico. After years on the run, he ends up in Texas taking odd jobs to make ends meet. After taking down a tough street fighter he’s commissioned to assassinate a controversial politician who’s trying to crack down on illegal immigration. From that point on he finds himself embroiled in an “us vs them battle” between the Latin natives who are part of an underground community called “The Network” and a group of extremists who work for border patrol.

The Good:

  • The Characters: Every person in this film is an exaggeration of someone who really exists. The characters are all based on stereotypes. There’s the overzealous southern politician, the Mexican drug lord, the hard pressed cop, and of course the vigilante hero, whose blades are faster than bullets. That’s obviously the exaggerated part.
  • The Action: Gun play? Check! Explosions? Check! Knife fights? Hell yes! Machete has a lot of obscene and almost obnoxious action sequences that are filled with gore. There’s a reason the protagonist’s weapon of choice is a giant blade. He’s not trying to just get the job done. He’s trying to make a point.
  • The Story: Like I said earlier, the plot heavily leans on the current state of immigration in the U.S., specifically the cities near the Mexican border. This is an underdog story, not just for Machete but for his people. At times the political tone does get a bit heavy handed but it’s an entertaining way to shed light on the topic.

The Bad:

  • Jessica Alba: Why was she cast as the female lead? Her acting is unbelievable — literally she was UNBELIEVABLE. You don’t buy her as a immigration officer who’s torn between her allegiance to the law and to her people. Her performance didn’t feel genuine. Michelle Rodriguez (one of the highlights of the film) could have done a lot better with the role than Alba.
  • Steven Seagal: So this is why Seagal wasn’t in The Expendables? He plays a Mexican drug lord who’s also Machete’s arch enemy. Seagal is a shadow of his former self. His squinted gaze, bloated figure, and obvious hair piece was nothing more than a distraction when he appeared on screen. This is not the same guy from Hard to Kill. It just can’t be!
  • The Length: This movie was entirely too long. It was overextended by one too many villains. There’s always a guy, behind a guy, behind another guy, and then you get the real guy who’s pulling the strings. It takes forever for them to get to that point and when they do, we’re exhausted.

Overall:

If you liked Grindhouse, you’ll love Machete. It’s got sex, drugs, action, and low riders as far as the eye can see. If that’s your thing, this will be the perfect flick for you to spend your money on this Labor Day weekend.

Rating: 7.5/10

Machete opens in theaters everywhere September 3rd.

Photo Gallery:

Trailer:

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Are you interested in seeing Machete this weekend?