Monday, September 6, 2010


Just saw this matinee on Saturday at the Hadley Mall. It was wonderful; basically everything I could hope for in a movie. I suppose at this point it goes without saying that some CGI moments bugged me, but that's life in 90s, or 00s, or teens.
The rousing opening sequence involving Machete's attempted rescue of a nude babe from the clutches of fat Steven Seagal sets the tone firmly in Cannon Films territory. One-liners, lack of logic or subtlety, naked babes and sleazy vilians continue to punctuate the film throughout it's overstuffed/overlong running time. That's fine by me as I enjoyed every convoluted plot twist, every new character, every body heaped onto the pile. I have to admit, this almost operatic web of sleaze leaves behind some of the effervescent fun of seeing the "fake trailer" way back in the Grindhouse days.
The message of Immigrant empowerment comes in thick broad strokes, and I admire the propagandist adherence to a ideology. There isn't a moral tacked onto the end here, or much complication in character to get in the way. In Machete you have brutal violence and hot babes (actually, very hot babes) fused to a real need on the part of film makers to give a big fat "FUCK YOU" to xenophobia aimed towards Mexicans. Oh and don't worry, the hot babes dole out a lot of the punishment. Cool.
As a prerequisite for a good action movie, you need Heavy heavies, and that's where Machete really shines. As good as Trejo is as the titular fucking badass, it's Segal, Robert DiNero, Jeff Fahey and especially Don Johnson that give the film it's real flash. To say they chew the scenery is putting it lightly...chewing the film sprockets is more like it. And we've also got Cheech Marin who is fantastic as Machete's brother, some Cholo chicks at a chop shop, gnarly henchmen/women and a bunch of other cool stuff. Overstuffed with cool stuff, it's no lean mean machine, but it's still pretty awesome.
I've encountered criticism of Machete that the "joke is that the film is supposed to bad, but so what?" The problem with this criticism is that it's total bullshit. This is pure action cinema for action fans...hey, I'll even say that I liked Planet Terror more, but that's no real issue for me. I want a world where I can go to the movie theater and have the option of seeing a fine piece of trash...or 2 pieces of fine garbage...or 3 pieces of shit...whatever.

1 comment:

MikeAnimal said...

Good review, man. I loved this movie. I thought it was a masterpiece. I liked it more than Planet Terror. I think its Rodriguez's best film yet. Hope the sequels are for real!