September 3, 2010
Directors: Robert Rodriguez & Ethan Maniquis
Writers: Robert & Álvaro Rodriguez
Starring: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Cheech Marin, Robert DeNiro, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Lindsay Lohan
"You just fucked with the wrong Mexican." The former federale Machete (Trejo), tasked with the assassination of an anti-immigration state senator (DeNiro), is betrayed by the man who ordered the hit. With the help of his priestly brother (Marin) and an underground network of illegal Hispanics led by the enigmatic Shé (Rodriguez), Machete embarks on a mission of revenge, ultimately leading to the Mexican drug lord (Seagal) responsible for the death of his wife.
This is not a film to be taken seriously, and if anyone does so (especially some poor soul like Tom Tancredo), they'd be making an egregious error. Rodriguez has stretched his trailer from Grindhouse into a film with B- and C-list celebrities, and it's exactly what the trailer promises: chock full of over-the-top action, gratuitous nudity, and somewhat cheesy one-liners. But when a movie's written properly and directed well, it's okay to shut your brain off for a couple hours and simply enjoy the experience, even if that means pretending that Steven Seagal is Mexican, and that people still find Lindsay Lohan desirable when she's not machine-gunning down the bad guys while dressed as a nun. B-
Oh, and remember the look of Grindhouse? Film grain and pops and cigarette burns and whatnot? That lasts through the opening scene and credits, then disappears for the remainder of the film. To me, it's a nice compromise between making the film look modern and those who prefer the look of the initial trailer. To others, not maintaining this asthetic for the entire duration is a betrayal of the purists. You be the judge.