Written by: Psyko113
Machete is the outcome of Robert Rodriguez and Quinton Terantino having their fun trying to re-create bad 70s cinema with the Grindhouse films...and you know what? It's totally worth it!
Rodriguez already showed he could make a faux-genre film of the grindhouse nature, and have it kick ass, with Planet Terror. In creating the fake trailers for upcoming films in the Grindhouse line-up, he went above and beyond creating something special with the trailer for Machete, and while the story suffers here and there (trying to get all the moments in that fake trailer to make sense in an actual film took a good degree of effort, no doubt), the movie is still a load of fun.
The film is about a man (played by the one and only legend himself, Danny Trejo) who belongs to nearly every special law enforcement organization possible, and is known for using a trademark weapons (I'll give you three guesses what it is). However, he's betrayed and left for dead after getting in the way of a drug cartel leader, Torres (Steven Seagal).
Three years later is where the bulk of the film takes place, as our hero gets himself involved in a political war in Texas, complete with attempted assasinations, secret undergroud networks for revolutionaries, an ICE agent, and his old foe.
Don't try to think too deep with the story, just sit back and enjoy the ride, otherwise you'll ruin it for yourself.
Action wise, the film delivers. Much of the effects are incredibly digital heavy, but it helps sell the violence in some instances better than any attempted practical effects could. There's also plenty of humor tossed in with all these, so even when you think it's about to get heavy, you find yourself laughing at some choice awkward moments.
The supporting cast is a mix of good and okay. Michelle Rodriguez gets her hotness back, due in no small part to the credit to her performance that for the majority of her screen time she's playing an actual person, not just the badass-girl-tomboy type she's typecast as (she does play this in the film, of course, but she shows she still has range in her, of which we haven't really seen since her role in Girl Fight). Jessica Alba doesn't really shine in this film as well as she has in other films, but for the purposes of the film's story, she gets the job done. Cheech Marin's character of Padre is just as hilarious in the film as he was in the trailer, but he's also a TOTAL BADASS!
Robert De Niro does a great job getting out of the type of roles we've seen him in all too often (especially in his first scenes. It takes a moment to realize it's him). Don Johnson makes for quite an amazing villain, so I was impressed with how he owned his role. Jeff Fahey also shines in his role, save the fact that he hams it up a little too much...but, c'mon, it's technically still a "grindhouse" film, so it had to be done like that. Finally, we also have Lynsay Lohan in a role that perhaps mirrors her personal life that's been being reported all too much lately, so I'll stay out of that one.
The production value gives it the feel of being a low-budget film, while at the same time it's visuals are impressive as some of Rodriguez's earlier masterpieces (I had a vague sensation of watching missing footage from Once Upon A Time In Mexico at one point in the film). The sound is great, and the in-studio band of Chingon is something to treasure; it blends the genre-cliche with a very cultured sound, making it something of its own.
In the end, I have to again say that Machete is worth the watch. It's not great cinema by any genre standards, it's just good ol' fun. Definitely a good companion to this years earlier release of The Expendables. Back-to-back awesomeness!!!