06 May 2011

Movies: Machete

Machete (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0985694/

Remember 2007's Grindhouse? The Death Proof/Planet Terror double feature from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez? Grindhouse had a fake trailer for the film Machete. That trailer was so popular that Rodriguez made this film.  He even got a couple of the folks that were in the trailer back for their roles in this film.
And if you didn't see Grindhouse - why not? Granted - Death Proof dialog would put any insomniac to sleep and is best viewed by fast forwarding through any scenes that don't have cars or Kurt Russel in them. Not because you want to see Kurt Russel so much as if he's in the scene you aren't being bored to tears by chicks blabbing on and on and on about nothing while QT films their feet. But geez. See 'em if you haven't. Just for that Grindhouse experience.

In a nutshell, Machete is about an ex-Federale codenamed Machete that was hired to take out a Texas state senator, only to be double-crossed by the guy that hired him.  Now Machete is out for revenge.

Straight-up violent action/adventure/revenge flick. Stars Danny Trejo as Machete. Trejo's first leading-man role too. And he's supported by a cast of well-knowns and lesser-knowns such as, oh, Robert De Niro, Don Johnson, Steven Seagal, Cheech Marin, Tom Savini, Jeff Fahey (Lapidus in Lost). OH, did I mention Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez? Yep - both of 'em, in the same film. Talk about 'holy shit lookit that cast'.
Oh yeah, Lindsay Lohan showed up too.

Even better - this film was almost exactly what I expected it to be. I expected it to be an over-the-top, kitschy, violent, bloody, insane action flick with cheesy lines. I wasn't disappointed.  It had decapitations, defenestrations, even a crucifixion. It was extremely stereotypical and tongue-in-cheek. By extremely stereotypical I mean racist, but I think the point was to highlight how shallow and stupid racist stereotypes are. Even had a Wilhelm Scream (sample).  Steven Segal was in top form - complete with Six Million Dollar Man sound effects, the worst Mexican accent ever and the cheesiest death scene I've seen in a long time.

Top to bottom this could have been another chapter of the El Mariachi trilogy. Or it could be in the same universe as El Mariachi, the film 'feels' are rather indistinguishable. Heck, El and Machete could get together and take out someone else that's oppressive and bad. Just ignore that Trejo and Marin show up and die multiple times in the Mariachi series. 

Yep - what I expected and more. Good stupid fun. If I could gripe about anything it would be the 'grindhouse film effect' that was applied to the start of the film seems to have disappeared early on and never to return for the rest of the film. It didn't maintain that feel throughout the film nor did it insert cheap production mistakes the way that Black Dynamite does.  But that's okay - I think it's just applied just long enough to get the viewer in that headspace, then got out of the way.

So yes - I liked it. It was good at being as bad as I expected, in a good way. Popcorn nite for sure. Too much bloody headsplitting violence and boobies for the kids, especially if you don't want your kids to see LiLo boobies. But if that were the case it's too late if they've been on the internets.

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