For those of you who never had a chance to see the full Grindhouse double feature in the theater not only did you miss out on a hell of a gruesome ride, but you missed some amazingly funny fake trailers by Robert Rodriquez, Quentin Tarantino and a few other directors. One of those trailers was for Machete. The positive out-pour over the trailer was so great that Rodriquez decided to make the dream come alive. That dream was a lead role for long time bad guy Danny Trejo, who plays an ex Mexican Federale who prefers the devastation of a huge blade to the precision of a gun. Those not familiar with the name should be much more familiar with the face and the work of Trejo. He had small, usually bad guys parts in movies like The Replacement Killers, Heat, Desperado, and even as an Indian chief in Fanboys. His scarred face and tattooed body is not something you easily forget, and now you get to see him as the hero which is a long time coming for the 66-year old actor who spent years in and out of prison.
In a corrupt department, Machete was one of the good guys and even though he had some opportunities to take the money and look the other way, there was no way he was going to let the biggest drug kingpin, Torrez (Steven Seagal), run his country into the ground. Unfortunately Machete is double crossed by his superior, and left to die in a blaze! Three years later Machete is in the States, doing odd jobs to make ends meet. He is approached by a man who asks him to kill a US Senator. Machete takes the job, but just before the job is to take place he realizes he’s just a patsy, and the man who hired him tries to take him out. Now Machete must uncover the conspiracy, get revenge, and bed some hot ladies! But to do so he’ll have to battle a quadruple threat of bad guys which includes the aforementioned Torrez, Senator McLaughlin (Robert DeNiro), Booth (Jeff Fahey) and Lt. Stillman (Don Johnson). Throw in a quick appearance by Rodriquez veteran and B-movie great Tom Savini and you know Machete has his work cut out for him!
I wasn’t surprised by how much I enjoyed the movie or how violent it was. The trailer was brilliant, as evidence by the fact that the movie was never meant to be made yet it has hit the big screen running. I’ve always been a huge Trejo fan from movies like Reindeer Games, Con-Air, and my favorite Rodriquez movie From Dusk Till Dawn. Trejo doesn’t disappoint in this one either. He has a very under appreciated comic tone to his actions and words, and seeing this old guy gut so many people was one of the most entertaining things I’ve seen all summer. Machete was over the top brutal, but that’s what the fans demanded, and Trejo and Rodriquez delivered!
My biggest knock on this movie was Lindsay Lohan. She is a horrible actress, and even in a film filled with cheesiness she still missed the mark. Outside of that my only other complaint was the CGI blood. I guess they probably saved a lot of time using it, but I miss the days of films like From Dusk Till Dawn and Desperado where Rodriquez took pride in what you could say is the “old school” way of filming gore. Still, the action and “oh shit did he just do that” moments definitely make up for any short cuts they took. The cast in this movie was stellar, and it’s nice to see people like DeNiro and Jessica Alba don’t take themselves too seriously to be in a movie which fits the perfect mold of what we love here at Internal Bleeding. It would be a shame if you didn’t see this in the theater with a big crowd because it lends itself to an audience of laughing men cheering when heads get chopped off! If you do see it pay attention to the part where Machete uses a man’s intestines in a way not recommended by a doctor… it was definitely my favorite scene! I give Machete 4 skull-scrapers out of 5.