Machete (2010)

Machete poster.jpg
Once upon a Mexican in Texas

After being set-up and betrayed by the man who hired him to assassinate a Texas Senator, an ex-Federale launches a brutal rampage of revenge against his former boss.

Often when shorts are released, there is a question that must be asked if there is enough potential within to adapt it into a full length feature film. It has proven to work before, with Boogie Nights and The Evil Dead, showing what good can come from this, but sometimes, it is best to leave it as it was. In Machete's case, it is the latter.

Danny Trejo is a familiar actor to most people, having starred in over 100 films, but only made his first leading role here, at the age of 66. He does the best with the material he's given, but is relegated to making the same scowling face and rattling off terrible lines like "Machete don't text". The rest of the cast seem to fall into two categories, either playing their role bland, like Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez manage to, or being merely unmemorable, like Robert De Niro, and especially Steven Seagal.

There is an obvious absence of logic, with the main example being how two police officers fail to frisk the supposed assassin of a senator, let alone confiscate a huge weapon he's carrying. But it's obvious from early on that Robert Rodriguez has less interest in this, just like he isn't interested in developing the characters or giving many of them something interesting to do, concerning himself more with splattering the sets in blood. These are justified as his attempts to make a homage to exploitation films, but the problem is in how the proceedings are taken too seriously. No matter how ridiculous the scene, be it Machete rappelling down the side of a hospital on the intestines of a henchman, or he's firing a machine gun from his motorbike, there is no attempt to revel in the ridiculousness, making for dull proceedings.

He considered changing his name to 'Turret'

What is strange is how many characters are given little development, but we get unnecessary scenes involving the family of the Senator's aide. It appears as though these scenes were inserted just to please Lindsay Lohan, but they serve little purpose other than to pad out the 100 minute running time, just like Lindsay serves no purpose here other than to show off her breasts.

The final act descends into an all-out giant fight scene, showcased in enough slow-motion, flames and bad CG explosions to attempt to cover up how blandly shot and dull it all truly is, making you regret spending your time on this shlock.

Robert Rodriguez tries to pass off poor writing and gratuitously shallow scenes as an homage to exploitation films in Machete, but there's only so many needless insertions of nudity, blood and suggestive sex a person can take before wondering what the point is.