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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

For the fans, keeps the Grindhouse genre alive

7/10
Author: Robert W. (Robert_duder@hotmail.com) from Ontario, Canada
8 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really waited a lonnnng time to see Machete. I don't know why really other than I kept hoping to buy it fairly cheap and then finally it showed up on Netflix. I suppose I had a lot of high hopes for it given how much I absolutely loved Grindhouse in its entirety and in certain aspects it does live up to expectations. I felt like perhaps there was some flaws in the overall product that could have been avoided but it really does give exactly what you would expect. Anyone who loves Robert Rodriguez or Danny Trejo (who certainly has a cult following), or Grindhouse, this is a must see. If you don't enjoy one of those things or even know what they are...Machete will seem like utter garbage to you. The violence, sex, and vengeance is dished out fluently, all set to that grainy quality of film that Grindhouse gave us. The strange thing about Machete is how little character development is really given to Machete. I expect in a film like this that the namesake of the film would be in your face, over the top, ball-busting, bad ass and he is that at times but not consistently throughout the whole film. It might seem weird to say this but the story and the supporting characters sort of got in the way.

Every movie fan knows Danny Trejo. Is there anything he hasn't done? At an astonishing 66 years old, the man barely looks 50 and pulls off the action role flawlessly. Would you ever call Danny Trejo an old man? He seduces, has sex, and rips apart bad guys in a single swoop and is reminiscent of classic action stars of the 80's and 90's like Stallone, Willis, or Schwarzenegger. The incomparable Robert Deniro is sort of laughable and silly but still a welcome addition to the cast as the twisted Senator. Jessica Alba is sexy but not much else as the Immigration officer teamed up with Machete. They try to work in some silly romantic angle between them but Alba is sort of boring in her role. Michelle Rodriguez gives one of the best supporting roles in the film as Mexican Saviour Luz. Ironically in this type of film she gives one of her softer performances but still kicks butt when she needs to. Lindsay Lohan gives a small and mostly pointless performance and I'm not on the Lohan hate waggon, I actually respect her as an actress mostly but they give her very little in this. Other supporting stars that are given perhaps too much attention including Jeff Fahey (loved him on Lost), Cheech Marin as a potentially great character that is sort of wasted, and Don Johnson who is hardly in the film. And it definitely was fun to have Steven Seagal as the baddie in the film although most of his work is done via satellite to his henchman (Fahey.) It would have been great to see an epic battle between Trejo and Seagal.

One thing Machete will be known for is some truly incredible and bloody death scenes. For a knock off of a 70's exploitation film it does perfectly and then you have some truly disturbing scenes like Cheech Marin being crucified by Jeff Fahey...where else could you see that? Robert Rodriguez is a bizarre director and film creator, and his diversity is even more bizarre...from Spy Kids, to this, and then back to Spy Kids again? But he knows how to entertain and he knows what he likes and you either like his work or you don't. It is easy to see why him and Taratino get along so well because they certainly do enjoy their unique brand of crazy film making that make some shudder and jaws drop open but man can they tell a story. Rumors abound of Machete being made into a trilogy and I am all for that idea. Hopefully Trejo and Rodriguez will find a groove where we can really sink into the character. See it if its up your alley, plain and simple. 7/10

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The human intestine is 60 foot long

7/10
Author: JimmyMcCool from United Kingdom
3 June 2011

This is a competent cheesy action film done in the style of a bad movie set in the Texas/Mexico border directed and written by Robert Rodriguez. It stars Rodriguez regular, Danny Trejo in his first leading role, as ex Mexican Federale Machete, a hard as nails tough guy who is hired by suave business man, Michael Booth, performed by Jeff Fahey, to assassinate right wing Senator John Mclaughlin, played by Robert Deniro. Mclaughlin is in the process of a re-election campaign and his main policy is illegal immigrants; which he is going to sort by building a massive electric fence across the border. Did I mention he has his own vigilante mob led by Miama Vice star Don Johnson? Well, he does and they police the border and execute anyone who tries to cross, even Senator Mclaughlin likes get involved in the killing, which annoys underground revolutionary faction the network; led by Michelle Rodriguez from her Taco truck who is under surveillance by immigration officer, Jessica Alba. Booth, tells Machete he needs the Senator dead because if Mclaughlin builds that fence it's going to upset his access to cheap labour. However, Machete is double crossed and is being used to help the Senator get more popularity. And that sets up the plot.

There are some decent action scenes, nothing too special, they tend to be more humorous than exciting, Machete never ever really has any major problems dispatching the bad guys, racking up a body count Arnie would be jealous of. The acting is very tongue in cheek, it doesn't take itself too seriously and there is some very nice eye candy on display in the form of Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay Lohan; their acting might not be great, but they are real easy on the eye. Although Machete doesn't have a huge back story (he was a former Fed whose wife was murdered by Steven Seagal), Danny Trejo's craggy scarred face tells the story for him. Apparently Trejo used to be a child drug addict and has served time in prison for drug and robbery offenses. He became a boxing champ behind bars too. Afterwards he became rehabilitated, then an actor; Trejo's real life back story is actually more interesting than Machetes, a hard man in real life as well as on camera.

All in all, a well paced action movie with cheesy one liners, beautiful woman and a cast of fine actors who clearly had a fun time making this film. It's main problem is there is no suspense, it's fairly obvious the good guys are going to win; there's a scene where Machete casually puts down his coffee and continues eating his snack while fighting a thug which sums up his attitude to what's going on around him. There's also a lot of cgi gore which can look a bit fake at times. But it is what it is, a well financed deliberate bad movie which is actually really fun to watch with a few beers and some friends. Pure entertainment - 3.5/5

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Machete might not be cutting edge. However, it's a fun throwback to the B movie and exploitation style of the 1970s.

6/10
Author: ironhorse_iv from United States
21 February 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The story of how 'Machete' got produce is a very interesting story & no, it didn't all started with the praise by audience members after seeing the fake trailer that was included in director Robert Rodriguez's and Quentin Tarantino's 2007 co-produce film 'Grindhouse' double-feature. Instead, it all began with director Robert Rodriguez meeting star, Danny Trejo on the set of 1995's 'Desperado'. As you see, it's there, that the director first create the character of Machete, by believing that Danny Trejo could be the next big 'Mexican action star'. It just took, many years for that idea to take hold. Finally in 2010, this mexploitation film was indeed made with the blessing from 20th century Fox. Inspire by John Woo's 1992 film 'Hard Boiled' and his 1989 movie, 'The Killer', the film tells the story of ex-Mexican federal, Isador 'Machete' Cortez (Danny Trejo), being hired to assassinate the anti-illegal immigration politician John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro), only to betrayed by Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey), a local businessman that hired him. Without spoiling the movie, too much, while this movie seems like Danny Trejo's first movie as Machete Cortez; in truth, this was his fifth appearance. The first appearance was in 2001's 'Spy Kids', followed up with its sequels. While, it's nice to see him, back in the role. It's just a bit bizarre to see how his kid-friendly character of the same name has nothing in common with this adult-driven character. They even have different backstory and family connections. Are they twins? Are they clones? Did one of them, stole the other person identify!? Sadly, Rodriquez never truly explain why, he has Danny Trejo played two different characters with the same name. Despite that, I did think Trejo did a great job as the titular character. He was pretty quick at his age, during most of the ridiculous action scenes, even if it's fake looking, heavily choreograph & staged. I can't say the same with the villain of the picture, drug lord, Rogelio Torrez (Steven Seagal). Seagal can barely move, when fighting with Machete. It's clear to me, that he hasn't work out much, since, his last movie 2002's 'Half Past Dead'. He was so old. It was painful to watch. Even his fake Mexican accent was a turn off. He didn't even try. I would rather see, Von Jackson (Don Johnson) or Osiris Amanpour (Tom Savini) as the main villain. Two great performers that seems to misused in their roles. Another performer in this film that irritated me, was Lindsay Lohan as April; Booth's drug-fuel daughter. Not only, was her performance, underwhelming, but her annoying character sure, wasn't needed. Also, it's probably, not the best thing by the casting director, to have Lohan play a drug addict, seeing how she been put on probation. Her acting was dry and emotionless. Unlike her, surprising, most of the rest of female cast was alright. It really surprised me, because normally, I don't think, Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriquez as good actresses, but somehow, they prove me, wrong as Agent Sartana and Luz. Still, I just glad, Rodriquez cut the slutty identical twin sister, also played by Jessica Alba and Boots McCoy played by Rose McGowan. Three awful actresses would be too much for me, to handle. Nevertheless, if I had to choose one actor that really shine in this film; it would probably be Cheech Marin as Padre Benicio Del Toro. Yes, Marin has only a couple of minutes of screen time, but he manages to steal every scene. He had some of the best one-liners, besides Machete's 'don't text' quote. In the end, the movie had mostly a very impressive cast for an insanely over the top action film. However, they might had overdo it with flying gore, and graphic nudity. Don't get me wrong, I like sex & violence as any other man does, but it comes CGI. I kinda like it, to look kinda real. It was just awkward, that Alba had a shower scene where the crew just etched out, her underwear to make it seem like she was nude. Also, the CGI blood being splattered into the camera direction, got a bit annoying. Another, is the odd choice of sound effects. It doesn't match, what is happening on screen, at times. To be fair, the amateurish nature of virtually everything was deliberate to look, sound, and be funny. Still, there were a few things that they could had cut, because how pointless and unfunny, they were. Those are just examples. Its reasons, like these, is why the 2013's sequel, 'Machete Kills', underperform. Overall: While, 'Machete Kills' was a disappointment. In the end, 'Machete' is still one of the most quintessential exploitation action flick parody of the early '10s. It's hilarious entertaining to a point. A must watch for anybody that love cheesy action films.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

So bad it's good!

8/10
Author: Cardinal Biggles
5 October 2015

When I saw it was that hair-dyed Karate guy - Segal - in this movie I almost turned the channel, but I'm so glad I did not.

This movie is outrageously over the top. It's so bad that it's good. Better than good. The violence is cartoon-like in it's excess, and always done with a tongue in the cheek. No can of fake blood was spared in the making of this film, and the slayings were so thick and fast, so creative, that I expected Wile E Coyote to appear at any moment.

Even the clichés were well handled, and the intentional humour content very well done. Especially the dark humour.

This isn't Shakespeare. Nor Tarantino. But it's a lot of fun for when you get back from the pub after hours, half cut, and settle down in front of the fire with your Biryani.....Or Should that be Burrito....Whatever.

I'll be looking for more in this series.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

In the name of my father.. I forgot the rest.

1/10
Author: Robert Porter from United Kingdom
15 June 2014

This is a typical example of how films are just ruined in the making now. At least in the 70's & 80's we had real stunts, explosions, combat sequences; real action. But now? It's all just mopped up in post with cheesy obvious CGI defects. Even the squibs are CGI for Gods sake. The whole film is just lazy from start to finish. The acting is cringe worthy, the dialog childish, the plot hacked together, nothing looks nor feels real & you are forced to care about nothing that transpires. The wrong sort are obviously infiltrating the film industry. And never shall we see a realistic gritty action film that doesn't have CGI short cuts in ever again. R.I.P competent film making. This one is down to the director.

Avoid like the plague if you have any kind of respect for those that made the classics we all grew up with.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Concept is better than the execution

5/10
Author: utgard14 from USA
22 February 2014

Machete is a one-joke concept that isn't interesting enough to sustain a whole movie. As a satire, it has some merit. There are some funny moments here and there. As a straight action movie, it's very weak. The action scenes are mostly dull and uninspired. Danny Trejo is old, out of shape, and makes for a poor action hero. Too bad this wasn't made five or ten years earlier. The climax of this movie is one old guy fighting another old guy. Both move like they fear hip displacement. Like most people, I enjoyed the Machete trailer during Grindhouse a great deal. Unfortunately the movie doesn't live up to that. The entire thing is built around Danny Trejo and, in my opinion, he's better suited for supporting roles. He just can't carry a film on his own. The supporting cast is better with the exception being Jessica Alba, who is terrible. I'm not an Alba basher but she really does stink up the joint here. She has no sense for comedy and the parts where she is playing it straight are unsteady and awkward. She looks great, of course. All the women do. So the movie does have that going for it. I'm not trying to bash the movie and be ultra-critical of what is just meant to be a tongue-in-cheek action flick. I realize what it's supposed to be. I just don't think it's that good. It's watchable filler but nothing more special than that.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Meh-chete

5/10
Author: bazmitch23 from Co, Derry, Northern Ireland
28 January 2014

Rodriguez is one of the laziest filmmakers today. He only makes low budget films and instead of building sets, he just shoots his actors in front of a greenscreen and puts lots of bad CGI in.

Sure, he not only writes and directs, but he also composes, shoots and supervises the visual effects. Back when I was a teenager, I thought that was the coolest thing ever. But today, his 2000's movies look dodgy. They have a cheap home made feel to them that you can easily do today on Youtube. I prefer his 90's movies where he didn't have CGI and used old school effects.

Machete does have some great action scenes. I loved the scene where Machete tears out the man's intestine and jumps out of the window using the intestine like a rope.

But despite being an action film, Machete doesn't have that much action in it.

Another problem this movie suffers from is that there's too many characters and sub plots going on. Instead of focusing on the main character, we have to have focus on 20 bloody characters. You'll forget what the film is about anymore.

It's like Rodriguez said "Hey, look how many famous people I can cram into one film." That's all very nice, but there needs to be a reason for them being there. They all just come and go.

The deleted scenes featured MORE characters.

There are some funny scenes as well. I liked the scene where Machete was attacking the Hungarian guards and one of the just says "I quit." and gives Machete his gun.

We get some nice fanservice such as the naked girl in the beginning, Jessica's shower scene and a topless Lindsay Lohan.

The acting? Everyone just plays the same characters they always do. Trejo is the badass Mexican, DeNiro is the villain (whose accent keeps changing), Alba is the hot girl (and she's wooden as always), Michelle is the badass like she ALWAYS IS and Steven Seagal (despite playing the villain) is the same guy with one facial expression. This is the only film with Seagal I've seen, but everyone tells me that if you've seen one Seagal film, you've seen them all.

Lindsay Lohan plays a drug addict. Gee, I wonder how she prepared for the role.

There's a lot of bad CGI in this such as CGI blood and body parts being cut off that are obviously CGI. Nothing looks real in this film.

Is it enjoyable? Errrrrrr........... well, it's not brilliant. It's worth watching for the fan service and action scenes. But as for the plot that is all over the place, look elsewhere.

Also why didn't Seagal's character kill Machete in the beginning, instead of going on this quest for revenge even though Machete didn't do anything to him? I dunno.

I showed the film to my dad who hated it. When he saw that there was going to be a sequel, he asked "Is it going to be as bad as this one?"

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Genesis Four And Walking On Fire. V1.01

10/10
Author: annevejb from UK
4 July 2012

From the comments and reviews here, Machete seems to be accepted as a fun fantasy story where the plot is not relevant and is not expected to make sense. I consider escapist fiction to be capable of being proper and relevant so I have no qualms about that view. I really like this story, I really like the Spy Kids series too and I also look to those as fun, escapist fantasy.

This is the ninth Rodriguez feature that I have purchased so far and I hope that I will be able to purchase more.

What follows just says that I consider the story to have real world meaning.

*

I have noticed a 'family theme' in all of the Rodriguez stuff that I have. Family was important to R. It was a positive and helpful thing to R. To him, family appears to be capable of being a personal religion and that theme is at its strongest in the first three Spy Kids stories. Me, retrospectively I did not have such a good experience re family, for me to believe or say other would be to act out of duty, I understood duties and obligation to family to be strong. When the 'family theme' comes up in these stories I prefer to go myopic and in this case I find that practical.

In Machete it is not obvious, but it is there. Machete and the priest, Padre, who is a biological brother and spiritual brother, both being ex Federales. ICE agent Sartana and network leader Luz, biological sisters on opposite sides. Meantime, Luz and Michael Booth, on opposite sides but having an occasional fraternal link via food choice and words used. Meanwhile, Michelle Rodriguez not being biologically related to Robert Rodriguez, just fraternally bonded by them both being effective in the feature film world, In Machete, the 'family theme' is not as simple or as obvious as in the Spy Kids stories, I prefer it that way.

*

A storyline that does not make obvious sense. In Spy Kids, no problem. I can rate all of those. For the Mariachi series to be a trilogy I I needed to look to how symbolism was used. A pure Mexican start, but by episode three the hero is not only Americanised out of recognition, he is also relatively weak as a person. It is the USA law guy who is effective and the real person. So, the USA law guy in Machete is Sartana, an ICE agent on the way up and out, but she is also a pussycat, becoming a more effective pussycat. Just watch her glaze over because of Machete Cortez, cat in love.

Rodriguez is starting to remind me of Roland Emmerich, and to some extent Simon West. Rodriguez and Emmerich both seem to feel a need to dive deeply into symbolism. But they seem to approach that from opposite viewpoints. I can accept the Rodriguez angle, but I consider Emmerich and West to be in opposite factions to me. In Machete I would place them alongside such as Von Jackson, the vigilante leader.

For me to try to understand this story I need to look to theory that can and typically is misunderstood in really damaging ways, so it is not a very good way. The theory I look to is Genesis, chapter four. Also to the ones that She Luz helps as people who are chained to spend their lives walking through fire, New Testament symbolism. Rodriguez as attempting to write a sympathetic story about the difficulties that a leper colony faces in the real, everyday, world, Pentateuch symbolism.

*

I found an IMDb user review, Enjoyable Viewing From Ma-Settee, 3 May 2012, Author: pms-mith from United Kingdom, that made me look further. This recommends Death Proof, Planet Terror or Sin City for anyone who remotely enjoyed Machete. I found a Blu-ray of the theatre and extended edited versions of Sin City and find it to be a very different thing.

I consider El Mariachi as central to Rodriguez's works. For me, Sin City links with Once Upon A Time In Mexico, them being scary stories that I prefer to only view the once. Sin City having a set of audio tracks adds to that. For me, Machete is in the opposite direction, closer to Spy Kids, all stuff that I can watch many times over. Some would only want to watch these the once, or not at all. Sin City actors: appearances by Brittany Murphy and Makenzie Vega, who I find amazing in easy and fun type stories on the level of Machete; with Sin City they are in rather different roles and in a story that I do prefer to avoid.

Rodriguez has variety. Is it possible to tell, at the purchase point, just which category any particular feature of his is in? Paul McGuigan, Push and Wicker Park, poses the same problem for me.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Fun, Fast-Paced, B-Movie Mania

9/10
Author: MongoOnion from United States
2 March 2012

I see a lot of complaints around here that the film was "too political". You people apparently have never seen or heard of exploitation films. Those types of movies have a crazy unnecessary political ideal to hit you over the head with in the mix of crazy violence, stereotypes, and sex. To complain about an exploitation film being an exploitation film seems like a ridiculous reason to hate on.

If you love crazy B movies like I do, you'll love this. Over the top action scenes, a crazy plot filled with betrayals and conspiracies, sex, and a kick-ass main character all interlaced with humor, and you've got yourself a must-see movie right here.

Danny Trejo plays the lead role of Machete, and man does he play it to perfection. Absolute top-notch and believable performance; this is a guy you don't want to mess with. Anyway as for the plot, the leader of a Mexican drug cartel kills Machete's family. It winds up he's financing the reelection campaign of Robert De Niro's anti-immigrant Senate run, who goes gunning down Mexicans by the border with a vigilante group on the weekends. It's crazy fun with an over-the-top plot and if you take that seriously, you need your head examined.

Oh yeah, and Trejo jumps out of a hospital window using some guy's intestines as rope. See this movie.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Amazing exploitation movie

10/10
Author: Maniac-9 from St. Louis, MO
2 February 2012

Great movie if you're wanting a movie with a lot of senseless gore(in a good way), nudity, violence and overall fun.

Long time supporting actor Danny Trejo gets to finally take the lead in a movie and he takes on the role of his lifetime as former Federale Machete.

The movie is headlined by an all star cast with Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeesica Alba, Steven Seagal, Robert DeNiro, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey and Lindsay Lohan.

Machete which spawned as a fake trailer in between the Grindhouse movies made by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, in a way this movie pays just as much tribute to grindhouse cinema as the main Grindhouse movies.

If you can't have fun watching this movie then you officially have no soul whatsoever.

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