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Monday, September 6, 2010




In my 2007 review of Grindhouse, I said, and I quote: "Call me when Machete comes out. That flick looked fucking cool". True to my word, a Machete movie was made and I went to see it. I learned I shouldn't have fucked with that Mexican. Machete is a grindhouse movie through and through, and delivers more than advertised. Way more. As in, this movie just kept going and going, well past the point of the audience caring about the convoluted, seemingly-never-ending plot about Mexican crime lord Steven Seagal, racist Senator Robert DeNiro, and conniving lobbyist Jeff Fahey working together and/or against each other to deport all illegal Mexican immigrants from the US, but not before using them as day laborers to build an electrified wall between the US and Mexico. The shameless initial joys of Machete's gory B-grade splatterfest (the best moment, foreshadowed by sexy nurses discussing that the human intestine is 60 feet long, is when Machete guts a bad guy and uses his intestines as a rope to rappel out of a window) give way to the unwieldy behemoth of a plot, with scenes heaped upon scenes of Immigration Agent Jessica Alba trying to uncover who Machete is and then joining forces with him to bring down all the pendejos. The three big name ladies in the movie each momentarily distract from the tedium of the plot by showing skin: Alba teases with a few seconds of a strategically blocked shower scene and Michelle Rodriguez showed off her toned torso. Lindsay Lohan delivers some blink-and-you-miss-it naked boobery but during a sex scene with Machete, an unfreckled body double is substituted for Lohan as obvious as the stunt men standing in for Adam West and William Shatner's fight scenes in the 1960's Batman and Star Trek TV shows. All three of those high-priced movie stars are trumped entirely by the spectacularly naked body of Mayra Leal during the berserker pre-credit action sequence (including the novel place Leal hides her cell phone). Machete never quite recovers from those initial highs (and lows). Through it all, Danny Trejo injects Machete with a grim bad assery that somehow still falls short of the iconic stature the filmmakers are going for. There is a tease at the end for two more Machete sequels. Don't call me when those come out.