Based on the fake trailer from the 2007 Quentin Tarantino–Robert Rodriguez double feature Grindhouse, and directed by Rodriguez and newcomer Ethan Maniquis, Machete is a violent, bloody, B-movie romp about a bad-ass Mexican Federale (played by Danny Trejo) who must go on the run after a drug lord (played by Steven Seagal) murders his wife and child when he refuses to be paid off by him. Years later and we find Machete, now an illegal immigrant in America, doing day labour in Texas. Soon after he’s back fighting for his life, hacking people up who get in his way.
“Machete don’t text!” No, he doesn’t text, but he sure does know how to slice, dice, and tear bad guys up with a blade better than a celebrity chef can handle a chicken.
Trejo is Machete and it’s hard to imagine any other actor playing him. He’s so scary onscreen that if I was to ever see him in real life I’d probably run the other way. The rest of the cast is also perfect, with Robert De Niro, Don Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, and Lindsay Lohan all hamming it up in their roles. Seagal is great too, and Cheech Marin’s part as a gun-toting Padre is golden.
Machete pays great homage to the films that inspired it and uses some of the same techniques Rodriguez and Tarantino used on Grindhouse. Signs of intended film scratches and colour changes are present, and the soundtrack is very reminiscent of exploitation films from the ‘70s. It’s all part of the experience of this type of movie though, and it’s what makes Machete so fun to watch.
If you want over-the-top violence, cheesy dialogue, and a scene where a character uses someone’s intestines to swing out a window, look no further than Machete.
The Blu-ray release does a great job with the 1080p image transfer and 5.1 DTS-HD sound mix, but fails in the special features department. Besides a digital copy and a few deleted scenes, there are a couple of trailers for the movie and some sneak peeks. That’s it. No Rodriguez film school or slew of extras he usually includes. It’s a shame too, because if they put some effort into the release it would be a must-have title for your collection.
(4 out of 5 stars)
Please enjoy the trailer for Machete below: