Machete (2010)

26 November 2010

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'Machete' follows the highly skilled Federale Machete (Danny Trejo) who is hired by some unsavory types to assassinate a senator. But just as he's about to take the shot, he notices someone aiming at him and realizes he's been set up. He barely survives the sniper's bullet, and is soon out for revenge on his former employers, with the reluctant assistance of his old friend Cheech Marin, who has become a priest and taken a vow of nonviolence. If you hire him to take out the bad guys, make sure the bad guys aren't you!

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"Uncompromising, brutal and brilliant – Rodriguez back to his best"

‘Machete’ is a great blokes film, and unreservedly so.  Guns – check.  Nudity – check.  Excessive violence – check.  Do not for one second think you will go into this film having to engage your brain.  This is not a film designed to win awards, this is a film designed to entertain, and boy does it deliver.

Shot very much in a Grindhouse/B Movie style, ‘Machete’ harks back to director Rodriguez’s previous hit ‘From Dusk till Dawn’, and is every bit as brilliant.  The plot is simple – wronged ex Federales (Danny Trejo) gains the opportunity to get revenge on the drug dealer who killed his family (Steven Seagal).  It’s not rocket science, but you know what they say – simple is effective.

This simplicity is coupled with a large dose of self awareness, which allows ‘Machete’ to really shine.  It knows it’s cheesy, it knows that the story is absolutely outrageous, and it has fun with it – Danny Trejo is fantastic as the lead, his mix between pure brutality and deadpan humour combining perfectly to bring the character of Machete to life.

Unexpectedly for a film of this genre, the supporting cast is full of big league Hollywood names - Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal, Lindsey Lohan, Jessica Alba to name but four.  I did momentarily think there would be an issue with ego’s clashing – after all none of the above play the lead role.  Fortunately however, all egos have been kept in check – simply put they ‘get it’, and all contribute to the tongue in cheek, comedic tone of the film.

‘Machete’ is a rare example of a film that delivers exactly what it sets out to do with zero disappointment.  There’s no doubt that it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but for those who grew up with the Grindhouse genre in the 70’s, and any one that likes a bit of blood, nudity and comedy rolled into one, it’s an absolute riot.

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