Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Machete; action, USA, 2010; D: Robert Rodriguez, S: Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Jeff Fahey, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan

Machete was once a Mexican Federal who fell into a trap and was betrayed by his partner, Torrez, who advanced into a drug lord. Years later, Machete now works as an illegal immigrant in Texas. He is approached by a certain Booth who offers him $150,000 to assassinate the far right Senator McLaughlin, who wants to forcibly eradicate every Mexican in the US. Machete accepts, but quickly figures it was a set-up: McLaughlin will win the re-election by claiming a Mexican wanted to kill him - even though Booth works for him - while the police are now after Machete. Luckily, with the help of Luz, agent Rivera and Mexican immigrants, they manage to expose McLaughlin and his ties with Torrez. In a duel, Machete kills Torrez while Rivera falls in love with him.

The eternal supporting cast member Danny Trejo was finally given a leading role in the action exploitation film "Machete", a spin-off of Robert Rodriguez's fake trailer for the "Planet Terror" film, who even went so far to give such stars like Robert De Niro and Jessica Alba a second billing. "Machete" is a homage to stupid B-action movies from the 80s and, just like Tarantino's films, dances somewhere between trash and inspiration: there are some good scenes and some bad scenes, yet Trejo is very sympathetic, humble in the leading role and several ironic moments give this a 'tongue-in-cheek' feel that refuses to take itself seriously, thankfully, whereas Rodriguez even managed to insert a surprisingly relevant theme about illegal immigration, Xenophobia and racism in the US, which gives it a dose of the subversive that increases its meaning - among others, Senator McLaughlin brags about building a wall along Mexico and even calls Mexicans "terrorists". There are a few good jokes here (for instance, Machete was shot at, but the bullet was stopped - by a previous bullet already inside his body) and even some moments that twist the expected cliches: when the attractive girl Rivera (Alba) is drunk and lies in her bed, we see Machete taking his jacket off and "jumping" into the bed. However, the surprise is next morning, when Rivera wakes up in her clothes and spots Machete simply sleeping next to her side, in clothes as well. She then smiles and calls him a real "gentleman". For such class alone, the movie deserves some extra credit. The inspiration wears off in the exaggerated, routine and over-the-top action finale, which ends predictably, though "Machete" is still a good 'guilty pleasure' - and is notable for being one of only two good movies trash actor Steven Seagal ever starred in his entire career (the second being "Under Siege").


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