machete

Machete

Machete, as most of you should know by now, basically started out as one of the fake trailers made for the Tarantino/Rodriguez vehicle Grindhouse.  I’ve read that supposedly Rodriguez had an outline for a Machete script around before Grindhouse, and that’s where he got the idea for the trailer, but I don’t know him personally, so I can’t really confirm or deny.  I also heard Machete’s character originally appeared in Spy Kids, but I haven’t watched those.  Regardless of where the guy comes from, the Machete trailer was awesome, and the Machete movie lives up to the expectations set by the trailer in every way.  In fact, the whole movie is essentially reverse engineered from the trailer (kind of a cool idea, maybe they should try this more often), and manages to incorporate every scene from the trailer into the movie. Having seen the trailer I number of times I immediately noticed that they either used the actual footage from the trailer (in most cases) or they re-shot scenes from the trailer with the movie’s cast (only a few sequences).

It’s really fucking shitty that people were too fucking lame to go see Grindhouse in the theatres, because had that film not been such a savage box office flop (at least domestically, I think it did a bit better over in Europe where they showed them as separate movies, which also isn’t nearly as cool) we could have had a Grindhouse 2. Imagine Machete as one feature paired up with the upcoming Rutger Hauer led Hobo With A Shotgun (another of the fake trailers from Grindhouse) as the second.  The ownage of that pairing would be legendary, even in hell. But enough of the “what could have beens”, and onto the “what is"; and “what is”, is that Machete fucking rules!

First and foremost, it’s about fucking time Danny Trejo gets a lead part.  The guy is literally the Hollywood go-to guy for thugs, henchman, villains, janitors, convicts, bounty hunters and/or vampiric bartenders.  He’s obviously got action chops (I heard he used to box while in prison, and then got his first Hollywood gig doing the fight choreography for Runnaway Train, training Eric Roberts for some boxing scenes) and he’s got a face that’s instantly recognizable (so ugly he almost pulls off good looking, in a Mikey Rourke sorta way).  So yeah, it’s nice to see him get a lead role as awesome as this.  I mean he plays an invincible killing machine ex-federally that gets to bang every hot chick in the movie, so as a first starring role it definitely qualifies as awesome. In fact he's a riot.

Secondly, the action in this movie is totally gory and over the top.  It reminds me a lot of Planet Terror, which I liked a lot, so expect a lot of excessive gore and people being shot, blown up, and hacked limb from limb.  Considering the movie is called Machete, it’s what I demanded, and the movie delivers.  My only qualm, and this applies to Planet Terror as well (and basically all of the modern action films I’ve seen lately), is CG is used too frequently for the gore when practical would have looked a lot better.  Rodriguez cuts fast enough when the CG is used so that it isn’t too glaringly obvious, but it still bugs me.  Thankfully, the scenes that do utilize the old school blood bags and prosthetics make up for it.  Any movie where the hero disembowels a guy and uses his intestines as a rope to swing out of a window and kick through the window on the floor below gets top marks in my book.

The third thing that makes this movie rule is the cast is absolutely top notch, and everyone delivers the goods in their roles.  The show stealers are of course Steven Seagal as a sadistic Mexican drug lord and Jeff Fahey as a sleazy political advisor.   But the rest of the cast is great too, and even though Michelle Rodriguez plays the same character she seems to play in every movie, I found I liked her more in this one. I thought she looked hotter too, but then Rodriguez knows how to film the ladies and make ‘em look smokin’ (see every non-kid movie he's made).  My only gripe here is more or less the same one I had with The Expendables, there’s so many cool characters that a lot of them don’t get a chance to do too much in the movie.  So even though Tom Savini’s hitman character is applause worthy for how awesome he is, he only gets a couple of scenes and then basically disappears.  I guess on the bright side there’s still plenty of material to flesh out the Machete universe in the sequels they (probably jokingly) teased us with at the end of the movie.

Another thing I’d like to mention is the controversy over whether or not you get to see Lindsay Lohan's tits or not.  OK, the scene in the pool with the mom and daughter is the same footage from the trailer, and it is not Lindsay Lohan.  However, there is a scene later where she wakes up naked on a couch with her mom.  You see the mom’s tits gratuitously, but Lohan has her hair down over hers.  However, despite what my wife, her sister and her boyfriend might say, you do in fact get to see Lindsay Lohan's tits, nipples and all, between the strands of her hair.  It isn’t much, but they are in fact there.  Look for 'em, and back me up on this one guys.  I know what I saw and it was areola.

This summer has been kind to action folks.  I think flicks like Machete and The Expendables get it right in terms of machismo fueled manly action with the right amount of muscles, violence and comedy.  All we need to do is get rid of all traces of the shitty cartoon CG gore and we’ll be 100% back in business.  Machete is pure entertainment that we need more of.  In this day and age where 96% of all movies made are remakes or reboots, it’s nice to see an original property kick so much anus.  See Machete NOW!!

-Sweetooth0

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