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
Steven Seagal requested and received a large air conditioning unit used for his outdoor scenes. See more »
In Spanish, the singular form of Federales is Federal, not Federale as constantly seen in the movie. Although this is a common Anglo misconception, it is presented on Machete's official personnel files which would never make such a mistake. 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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Don Johnson's billing in the opening credits is listed as "and introducing Don Johnson" See more »
Padre Benito del Toro: It's not safe for you to be here. Machete: I'm not looking for "safe." Padre Benito del Toro: No, I mean it's not safe for me for you to be here!
When you can sit back and relax with a Grindhouse satire like Machete, then you are a cinema devotee who accepts outrageous violence and a bit of skin in a Mexploitation fun house.
Robert Rodriguez (whose El Mariachi started his career) is the co-writer/co-director (with Ethan Maniquis) of arguably his best production since Sin City—Machete. Or maybe his and Quentin Tarantino's cult fav, Grindhouse (2007). At any rate, Rodriguez has become synonymous with outright bloody business reminiscent of cheap B movies in the '70's, and he's the best at it.
Machete, played by Danny Trejo, is as ugly as you could hope for in an unstoppable warrior with restless knives. He is a Mexican federale seeking revenge for his family slaughtered by drug lord Torrez (Steven Seagal with a bad toupee). Although the hearty laughs don't last the whole film (after all, too many severed limbs are not sustainable comedy), Rodriguez has other moments to keep us interested, such as a bare-breasted Lindsey Lohan in a pool scene and in another with a machine gun in nun's garb.
All of this fun is in the service of a message, albeit too obvious for my tastes as it slows the latter part of the film with stagey speeches about the crimes against illegal immigrants. The bad guys promote a tougher border presence to deter the aliens, not because they are doing anything immoral, but because tighter borders mean higher prices.
Machete puts an amusing end to a tepid cinema summer (with the exception of the challenging Inception)—after all, if Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Jeff Fahey, Cheech Marin, and Don Johnson can have fun in this mayhem, so can we.
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