Tuesday, September 7, 2010



If you're familiar with Director Robert Rodriguez's past works, then you should already have a pretty good idea of what is coming. If not, you have to wait about 5 mins. Yes, 5 mins into the movie and you will know what kind of retro-80's directing, cheesy gore, wit 'n humour and naked lithe female forms await you throughout the rest of the film.

Is this a good thing?

Enter Federale Machete: Left for dead at the hands of drug lord Torres (Steven Seagal). Torres has a knack for keeping the same facial expressions throught the entire film. Several times, I thought he was going to ask to be called the Glimmer Man. Machete somehow survives and comes to America and becomes the unknowing pawn in a rather complicated border/illegal immigration/re-election/drug smuggling scheme. Machete is a man of few words (or texts). Reminiscent of Arnold in THE TERMINATOR.

Michelle Rodriguez plays an underground railroad mastermind selling tacos. Not kidding here. She is hot but she tries too hard to be perpetually serious and she tries too hard to be hot.

Jessica Alba is an I.C.E. (Immigration) officer trying to take down "The Network" being run by Michelle Rodriguez.

Cheech Marin shows up late in the film as the coolest Catholic Priest ever to grace a film.

Robert DeNiro and Don Johnson are present but the characters have little substance but are tolerable.

In the what might be the worst bit of casting, Lindsay Lohan plays the daughter of a Senator's aide. It could've only been worse if Paris Hilton was cast instead. I prayed she'd get axed in the film quickly by a manly machete blade.

The gore is over the top as are the action sequences. The humour makes fun of the whole illegal immigration mess as well as presenting obvious Mexican stereotypes.

Robert Rodriguez uses the scenes from the GRINDHOUSE commercial spliced right into the movie. Rodriguez has also stated he'd like his character, Machete, to be the first Mexican superhero. Not so sure about that as Zorro may be the first in my book. Never the less, Rodriguez has great taste in good-looking females, manly ways to dispatch adversaries and sloppy '80s editing.

There are several flaws in the movie, the cheesy gore not withstanding. However, of note are several homages to not only Robert Rodriguez's past works, but also that of Danny Trejo's (Machete) past films. An example of this a car's license plate reads "La Onda." Also, it may be a coincidence, but the 4 men in black with automatic weapons standing outside the church seem to reference Quentin Tarantino's KILL BILL Vol.2

MACHETE is the epitome of cool in a manly movie. The machete blade Machete wields is longer than a Scottish Claymore sword is awesome to behold. I felt the final showdown with Steven Seagal could've been more interesting and not so anticlimatic, but even so, its a fun film.

Intestinal bungie jump for the win!