Having never been a huge fan of Robert Rodriguez, I must admit, “Machete” is in many ways, very watchable. It is Rodriguez’s second attempt to construct a mind-blowing, audacious exploitation film, following his debut grindhouse feature, “Planet Terror”, in 2007.
The film is just your average revenge flick. Its R-rating signals the potential violence the audience would come to expect in a film named after a broad blade knife. In fact, the amount of violence in the film is almost outrageous. Rodriguez doesn’t shy away from the blood spattering, gut-ripping, head-chopping gruesomeness, he embraces it. Then again, the movie wouldn’t be the same without it.
But with all the blood and guts aside, the story itself is cliché in an almost childish way. Trejo plays the title character, who swears revenge on an ex-federal agent after witnessing the cruel decapitation of his wife. The plot thickens when he soon realizes that his path of vengeance would uncover the secrets of many others, including a corrupted Texas senator portrayed by Robert De Niro.
Hard fact: “Machete” is no Oscar material. It’s almost trashy, depends on how you see it. But that’s what makes it unique, and yes, brilliant. The plot itself isn’t what matters here, it’s the action and visual, however stunning and bloody. It’s about the style. I mean, do we really need to see a half naked Michelle Rodriguez or better yet, a completely naked Lindsay Lohan? But without them, what else does this movie have to show for?
From its insane, over-the-top storyline to its first rated cast and crew, the film actually turns out to be much more funny than one would expect. In many ways, it shares a lot of similarities with Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill”. Equally as violent equally as meaningless. But like I said before, who cares? We’re not idiots, we’re fully aware of that fact the entire movie could’ve been told in less than two minutes, and the action sequences don’t do a thing to advance the plot, if there was any. But they are the juice in this movie, they are what makes “Machete” such an adrenalin rush.
Now, as always, every action-packed feature has a smoking female lead. In this case, we have two. Apart from tough girl Rodriguez, there was Jessica Alba. The part Hispanic hottie portrays a government agent who really has nothing to do with the story. But that is to be forgiven. We can just put aside the logic and simply enjoy the movie, and boy, what a hell of a crazy ride it was.
Almost two hours of building up leads to a rewarding but overrated climax. “Machete” is a cinematic carnage/summer popcorn flick and nothing more. It’s no “Inception”, but you certainly don’t have to see it a second time to understand. It’s pure madness, but hey, sometimes that can be a good thing.