I’ve always felt that Steven Segal is a douche bag sc** ball who usually portrays douche bag sc** ball heroes. In MACHETE he plays a douche bag sc** ball villain.
Lindsey Lohan is a drug addicted skank. In MACHETE she plays a drug addicted skank (who makes porno movies with her mother).
Daniel Trejo (the real ugly Mexican guy with all the wrinkles, scars, tattoos and permanent scowl) plays “Machete”, a disgraced Mexican Federale cop who is now an illegal emigrant day worker in Austin Texas. He gets involved in a street brawl and his fighting ability catches the eye of Jeff Fahey, an aid to Robert De Niro, a US Senator running for re-election.
I have no idea who Jeff Fahey is but he plays a great bad guy. De Niro has been in a series of crappy movies where he plays a rogue detective. The only good things he has been in lately are the comedies MEET THE PARENTS and MEET THE FOLKERS. He is perfect for this role.
Don Johnson is a perfect sleaze bag no-goodnick and his costar from NASH BRIDGES and TIN CUP, Cheech Marin, plays a Padre with a pair of shotguns.
Jessica Alba plays a US CUSTOMS officer.
Michelle Rodriquez plays a taco truck lady who actually leads a network of an illegal alien smuggling operation.
And there are a couple of nurses too, brilliantly portrayed by Electra Avellan and Elise Avellan. This might be the first time that twin sisters are nominated for dual BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE by the Academy.
There is nothing subtle or reserved about MACHETE. It is pure over the top fun. It is NOT an expose about the plight of the illegal immigrant any more than it is about drug lords, corrupt politicians, social injustice, violence, arms control or even fashion. It is over the top fun.
The story features (mostly) Latin actors portraying Mexican characters on both sides of the Rio Grande. What was a lot of fun was seeing this in a Del Rio Texas movie theater. 70% of the residents of Del Rio have a last name that ends in a Z or an S. The norte side of the border is equal parts of Texas, the US and Mexico. The people in the seats in front of me, behind me and alongside of me were laughing even louder than Elaine and I were. Probably the best line in the end comes from Robert De Nero. “I’m not from Texas and I don’t even like Texas. It’s too hot here.”
From what I understand, the movie got its genesis in the 2001 film SPY KIDS. The Danny Trejo’s “Machete” had a cameo role in it and the audience reception was very favorable. In Quinton Tarentino’s 2007 movie GRINDHOUSE has a spook “coming attractions” for a phony movie called MACHETE, starring Danny Trejo and Cheech Marin. Audience reception was so huge the producers decided to make it into a full length film. I’m really glad they did.
When the ending credits started rolling we were told “MACHETE” will return in “MACHETE KILLS” and later in “MACHETE KILLS AGAIN”. I’ll be at the front of the line with a plate of guisado, washing it down with a cup of horchata.
I give this movie four out of four coconuts and because I loved it so much I will toss in a mango and a pineapple.