Movie Review: Machete

Machete(Danny Trejo) is a fearless Federale. When he comes close to apprehending the drug log Torrez(Steven Seagal), the latter bargains with the life of Machete’s wife and daughter. Both of them are brutally murdered by Torrez while Machete helplessly looks on. Three years after this incident, Machete is now roaming in the streets of a border town in Texas.

In Texas, Senator McLaughlin(Robert De Niro) vehemently opposes the illegal migration from Mexico. Electrified fence along the border is one of his re-election slogans. Unknown to the public, McLaughlin also funds a group of violent vigilantes commanded by Von Jackson(Don Johnson). This group patrols the border and kills anyone crossing the border illegally. Meanwhile, there is a wide underground network which support these illegal immigrants. This is run by a woman named “She”. Agent Sartana Rivera(Jessica Alba) of Immigration Department suspects “She” is actually Luz(Michelle Rodriguez) who operates a food van.

After watching Machete in action at one of the underground betting places, Michael Booth(Jeff Fahey) approaches him. Booth offers Machete $150,000 to kill Senator McLaughlin. Machete accepts the job and gives all the money to Luz. But the assignment turns out to be jinxed. Machete finds himself at the vortex of intrigue.

This movie is directed by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis.Similar to many of Robert Rodriquez’s earlier movies, this movie also shows signs of cheaper production values. There are many groan inspiring and impossible scenes(made possible with CGI). There is moderate splashes of nudity and ample display of blood. Blood erupts like a fountain whenever Machete hacks down his opponents. At the end of the day, it is not the nudity or the blood that turns the viewer off. The incoherent script does the job. The story focuses on too many things – a Mexican hero who uses crude equipments mostly comprising of gardening and other household equipments, anti-immigration sentiments picked up from the news headlines, a padre who can be funny and expert in using firearms, a sensuous agent who tracks the hero and finally switches sides in addition to falling in love with him, a wayward girl(Lindsay Lohan) who love drugs but takes up arms to avenge her father’s death in a nun’s uniform and the “SHE” the sexy goddess who is responsible for the resistance. None of the topics are covered in depth or sincerity. The movie eventually degenerates into a whirlwind tour trying to explain everything to the viewer in a limited time.

Danny Trejo does not exude charm necessary for such a hero. He is miscast. The movie has a lineup of big and famous stars. All of them end up mouthing dialogues that sounds silly. The two notable exceptions are Cheech Marin and Jeff Fahey. Cheech Marin brings the house down with his portrayal of Padre. Jeff Fahey rises above the script to portray the bad man.

This is typically a guy’s movie. If you are planning to go for this one, make sure you are accompanied by your close set of friends. And get ready to boo.

Language: English

Genre: Action

Rating: **

Tags: Movies,Danny Trejo,Steven Seagal,Robert De Niro,Don Johnson,Jessica Alba,Michelle Rodriguez,Jeff Fahey,Cheech Marin,Lindsay Lohan,Robert Rodriquez,Ethan Maniquis,Action


  1. Actually this one is a celebration of no brainer B grader exploitation movies of 70s and 80s. Cheap sets, bad acting, Danny Trejo, tagline, gore, incoherent script, all are intentional. Director was trying to make it so nonsensical that it turns a kind of absurd comedy. Actually it was developed from a fake trailer for Tarantino and Rodriguez' similar movie Grind house.

  2. @Harish - I agree it is a "masala" movie! But compare this work with "Sin City" or "Desperado" and you can spot the differences. This is a quick production. The cast and crew evidently had a great time in making this movie. That did not translate into an enjoyable one on the screen! :( Like I said, the director tried to pack too many things and failed to do justice to the movie.


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