Review - Machete

Machete (2010), R, 105 minutes – Remember that big B rate flick Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez dropped on us a couple of years ago called Grindhouse? Do you also remember how the best part of Grindhouse was the fake trailers? Well 3 years later, Rodriguez brings his fake trailer to life with a full length feature.

Danny Trejo retains the role of Machete, a former federale and overall badass Mexican who was left for dead by a drug lord named Torrez (Steven Seagal) after interfering in his affairs. After the film opens with that bit of back story, we find Machete in a small Texas town trying to get by as a day worker. He’s hired by Michael Benz (LOST’s Jeff Fahey), but not for the job he thinks. Benz offers him $150,000 to assassinate the corrupt local Senator McLaughlin (Robert DeNiro) who is running for re-election with an extremely tough immigration platform. The Senator also goes out on late night immigration hunts with an equally corrupt police squad led by Lt. Stillman (Don Johnson).

To move things along without being too spoilerific, the entire thing is a set up. Machete takes the job but doesn’t shoot the Senator. Now on the wrong end of a man hunt, he enlists the help of his brother – a local priest (Cheech Marin), an immigration officer (Jessica Alba), and the local underground leader (Michelle Rodriguez) to clear his name and exact revenge on those that set him up.

Machete almost gets too political for its own good but manages to be over the top enough with its characters to not be taken too seriously. It’s definitely your standard Robert Rodriguez fare. Well, at least as far as his adult targeted films go. It still kills me that the same guy that brought us From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado, and Sin City also gave the world the Spy Kids films. It’s fun seeing Danny Trejo in a starring role, even if it is ridiculously stereotypical. But then again, Machete makes no qualms about being the type of film that it is – a fun, B rate, exploitation flick.

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