“Machete”, the story of a Mexican Federale who tries to take down a Drug Kingpin and his minions with nothing but his skills and a machete. Featuring Danny Trejo as the title character the film does look promising as a B-Rated film straight out of Mexico. In the beginning there is violence followed by nudity and then finished with more violence. I was suprised when I see Steven Seagal playing the villian in the film and in the beginning he is only known as Torrez, a drug dealer who kidnaps and murders people and is not above using women as decoys.
So then we are transported to a different point in time with Machete now in Austin, Texas and trying to find a way to make ends meet as a day laborer after surviving his intial confrontation as a Mexican officer of the law and cast out of Mexico. Then we see Jessica Alba as Agent Sartana, an Immigrantation and Customs Enforcement agency also known as ICE (Which if you think about it, the acronym spells out the nickname for meth which is a weird choice for a law enforcement agency, even though it is fiction.) Anyway we see Agent Sartana sitting in a old BMW monitoring a taco truck at a construction site which is ran by Luz, played by Michelle Rodriguez, who is suspected as being the leader of an underground organization that helps illegal immigrants from Mexico cross into America. So after a exchange of words between Sartana and Luz, we are shown a night scene with illegal immigrants trying to cross the border into the U.S. but are met by a sadistic character named Von, who is played by Don Johnson of “Nash Bridges” fame. Von and his team of men play vigilanties who kill illegal immigrants with no remorse, and on this particular night are joined by a man who is Senator John McLaughlin. Senator McLaughlin is played by Robert DeNiro, which is not a surprise because in his career as a actor he has played plenty of villians and heroes alike. McLaughlin and Von come across two immigrants and shoot them both and just laugh it off. Here is where the movie starts to go down the spiral.
So Machete accepts a deal to assassinate McLaughlin for $150,000 dollars and he is using a M-16A2 with what appears to be a high power scope, but a twist is thrown in that Machete is betrayed and is blamed for the supposed assassination of McLaughlin when he didn’t pull the trigger in the first place. Plus the Senator gets shot in the leg, you would think that the Senator could have gotten shot in the arm or groin or even the foot but the leg? I mean seriously you would think that Robert Rodriguez could have made the movie a bit more realistic by having the Senator shot someplace a bit more smaller and have a scene where the bullets are shown to not match since the actual bullet is from a 7mm Magnum rifle. Also a gun fight right after the senator has been shot and using the cliche of dressing up a couple of thugs as cops in a obvious getaway car? Seriously I think he could have done better than a cliche like that such as Machete kicking out the cage and taking them both out with his trusty machete and then taking control of the car. This is all followed by a entire sketch devoted to McLaughlin and his cause which the movie sounds like it is taking a serious political turn reminiscent of the 2005-2006 debate of illegal immigration back in Texas. Anyway so as the movie progresses we see alot of action and some really interesting scenes but the fun all stops when Lindsay Lohan is introduced as the daughter of the man who betrayed Machete with the attempt on McLaughlins’ life.
Having Lindsay Lohan in any film is a sign for a movie that will not live up to the hype, just like the failed “Underground Comedy Tour” series. However the only thing Lindsay Lohan does is show her breasts, and also trying to make a home made porno with her mother. After this the movie does pick up with Cheech Marin being introduced as Machetes’ brother who has become a priest of a Catholic Church. Cheech does an amazing job as a priest who doesn’t play games when it comes to collecting money for the church and also when bad guys walk into God’s house with big guns. Then more action and through this part of the movie it seemed that it was rushed to the end, the guy who hired Machete is a aide to McLaughlin who works for Torrez, who killed Machetes’ wife and who gives money to McLaughlin who turns around and pays Von to continue doing what he does.
In the end, a fight between Machete and Torrez happens and it is a DISAPPOINTMENT! A few swings of a machete and katana and poof Steven Seagal is defeated and kills himself. What happened to Seagals sense of fighting a realiztic fight or doing what he does best? I honestly hated the ending because it just didn’t make any sense. This movie was suppose to be the successor to “Grindhouse” and the entire thing just doesn’t live up to the quailty that Rodriguez has done in the past. The cast is a nice mix of known faces and some new faces in the acting world, but the story line and the movie is just a horrible let down. It was too simple, and also the fact that Machete was suppose to be a reincarnation of Che Guevarra towards the end seems to be a rushed title to bestow onto the audience. I think that if Rodriguez went back and put in more effort or consulted Quentin Tarantino then Machete could have been a better movie. When it comes to making a movie, there are three requirements: One- make the story realistic and stick to flow. Two- when filming don’t try and shorten or rush the story and then end it, throw in twists liberally. I knwo we dont’ want another M.Night Shamalan deal. Three- When making an action film, don’t just slap it together make it a piece of art!