The highly skilled Federale Machete 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 brother 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!Written by
The film's politics proved to be very prescient with Robert De Niro's fictitious Senator advocating a clamp down on Mexican immigration by building a huge wall across the entire length of the Mexico and U.S. border. This was one of the policies of Donald J. Trump in his 2016 Presidential bid. See more »
In the beginning, when Machete pulls his machete out, it appears to have a ring near the hilt (Machete uses it to swing the weapon like a windmill). Later on, when he rescues the girl and she sticks to him, the machete has no ring in the handle. See more »
[in Spanish; subtitled]
We're federal agents, not martyrs. This is suicide. She's just another kidnap victim.
[holding up picture]
What makes her special? Because she's a witness against Torrez? He probably has her locked up, drugged our of her mind. We don't have to do this!
If not us, then who?
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Before the end credits roll: "Machete will return in Machete Kills (2013) and Machete Kills Again." See more »
"Machete" Is Not For Everyone, But It's Was Fun To Me
As I was in the theater watching "Machete", I could not help but see certain scenes and keep a list in my head of people who would hate this movie. When Machete (Danny Trejo) takes out the knife whose nickname he bears and cuts people's heads off, "people who hate violence in movie" made my list. When Sartana (Jessica Alba) takes a shower and leans against the wall in a way that millions of men probably fantasized about, "most, if not all, women" found its way onto my list. When Padre the Roman-Catholic priest (Cheech Marin) says "God has mercy. I don't." to a guy before blowing his brains out with a rifle, I couldn't help but mentally pencil in two other groups of people: Catholics, and people who hadn't seen "Grindhouse" (2007) when it came out in theaters three years ago.
Well, I love violent action films, I think Jessica Alba is gorgeous, I am Catholic but am not easily offended, and I was one of a surprising few who saw the aforementioned ambitious tribute to B-movies of the 70's and 80's. Therefore, I enjoyed "Machete" a lot, but I imagine others would have to take it with a grain of salt.
"Machete", based on a fake trailer made exclusively for "Grindhouse" that director Robert Rodriguez decided to expand into a feature-length film, is not meant to be taken seriously. If anything, it's a clever film with a lot of great action sequences, intriguing characters, many interesting subplots, and a good story at its base. For starters, it also has an impressive roster of talented actors in it. There is an interesting mix of the usual Rodriguez players (Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Jeff Fahey), really good actors (Robert De Niro), notoriously bad actors (Steven Seagal, Don Johnson), and talented players that have made some bad film choices over the last few years (Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan). The funny thing is that, good or bad, most of these actors seem perfect fits for this movie, and work well off each other.
Trejo may have been an action star if he came to fame in 1970's cinema. Nowadays, it's not unusual to see good looking celebrities like Tom Cruise and Ryan Reynolds headline action films. Thankfully, Rodriguez, like Quentin Tarantino (who co-produced this film, but for some reason, remained uncredited) saw something in this 66-year-old ex-convict, because Trejo makes a great lead for an action film. Just one look at him, and you may want to start running. He's rugged, doesn't take any crap from anyone, and it is what action stars should be. It's just too bad the villains in this movie are not aware of that fact, and there are many villains.
There's Torrez (Steven Seagal), a drug kingpin who betrayed Machete while he was a Federale in Mexico. There's Booth (Jeff Fahey) who hires Machete to assassinate a Republican senator (De Niro) who's staunchly against illegal immigration. There's also a corrupt border patrolman (Don Johnson) who kills illegal immigrants with no mercy. Although Jessica Alba plays an INS agent, you really can't stay mad at her for long.
Although "Death Proof" and "Planet Terror" found a separate following on DVD, "Grindhouse", which combined the two films along with fake previews, did not do well at the box office despite rave reviews. So the timing may have been bad for "Machete" had it not been for the controversial Arizona immigration law that coincidentally coincided with this film's release. Whether or not this movie can be seen as a Hispanic-American revenge fantasy is not up to me to decide, although Michelle Rodriguez's turn as Luz, who is suspected of aiding illegal immigrants, raises some interesting questions. The film does seem to forget that it's a parody of exploitation films of years past at times, but never ceases from being fun. Just as Rodriguez brought "Machete" from a coming attraction to a feature film, I hope Rob Zombie does the same for his "Werewolf Women of the SS" preview.
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