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!
Despite of warnings from his Chief, Officer Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) attempts to rescue a witness against gangster Torrez (Steven Seagal), resulting in the slaying of his family, and his house being burnt down. Three years later, having fully recuperated from his physical injuries, he makes a living as a casual laborer, and is hired to assassinate right-winged Senator John McLaughlin for $150K. His attempt results in the Senator getting injured, and he soon realizes that he has been set-up to ensure a sympathy vote for McLaughlin - who, while ostensibly determined to built an electrified border-fence, has close connections with Torrez; and is also involved with gun-toting vigilante groups that gun down Mexicans with impunity. Machete will also find himself on the run from the Police; pressure will be brought upon the underground 'Network' that assists Mexicans; his brother (Cheech Marin) will be tortured; while ignorant/unknowing Americans get ready to elect McLaughlin.
In Mexico, the determined federal agent Machete Cortez opposes to the order of his chief and drives with his partner to the hideout of the drug lord Rogelio Torrez to rescue an abducted witness against the gangster. However, he finds the witness naked on the bed but he is surprisingly betrayed by the woman, and his wife and daughter are murdered by Torrez. Three years later, Machete is an illegal immigrant in Texas that wanders on the streets seeking job in the Day Labor Site. He is hired by Michael Booth to assassinate the boasting right-winged Senator John McLaughlin, who is against the immigrants and defends the construction of an electrified fence along the border with Mexico. Machete receives one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the assignment, but he gives the money to Luz, a Mexican woman that sells taco in her truck and manages the underground Network that assists illegal Mexicans and helped Machete three years ago. When Machete is ready as a sniper in a tower, he finds that he has been betrayed and set up by Booth, who actually is McLaughlin's adviser and plotted the scheme to improve the statistics with the sympathy of the electors to McLaughlin. Once again Machete survives and discovers that Booth supports the vigilantes led by the cruel Von Jackson and is associated to Torrez. Now Machete seeks revenge against his enemies and becomes a myth.
Three years ago in Mexico, determined Federale Machete is betrayed and set-up by his boss, resulting in his wife and child being murdered by drug kingpin Torrez. Now, in Texas, Machete resurfaces when hired to assassinate Senator McLaughlin, an extreme advocate against illegal immigration. Once again betrayed and set-up, Machete plots his revenge against the men who've wronged him with the help of resistance fighter Luz, ICE Agent Sartana, and the shotgun-toting Padre.
After being set-up and betrayed by the man who hired him to assassinate a Texas Senator, an ex-Federale launches a brutal rampage of revenge against his former boss.
- Machete opens along a road through Mexican mesa. A car rides down the road, occupied by two Federales-- Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) and his partner (Vic Trevino). They are en route to rescue a young woman (Mayra Leal) held captive by a ruthless drug lord named Torrez (Steven Seagal), who was once Machete's partner in the Federales. Machete's current partner is furious at the rescue mission, saying that the girl is probably locked up somewhere, heavily drugged, and is just another of many dozens of kidnap victims; they do not need to go and rescue her. Machete calmly asks his partner, 'if not us, then who?'
Machete's cell phone rings. His direct superior, the Mexican Federal chief (Alejandro Antonio), angrily orders that they stop and wait for backup to arrive. They are not to disobey orders and storm the place where the girl is believed to be held, alone. Machete takes the phone and crushes it in his hand.
Roaring into a small villa, the car stops at a three-story house with barred windows. Three men step out of the house, heavily armed. Machete throws the car into reverse and backs up a number of yards. His partner bravely tells Machete that he is with him, calling him 'boss.' Machete holds up a large, wickedly sharp machete (from which he gets his name) and says in English, 'this is the boss.'
Machete then propels his car forward, racing straight toward the house and the men in front of it. They open fire as the car roars toward them, Machete's partner firing back through the windshield. The partner is hit by a hail of gunfire shortly before the car plows through their line. They leap away as the car crashes through the front of the house. Machete apologizes to his partner, who lays dead beside him.
Charging into the house, Machete promptly foils an ambush, slicing off the hand of an assailant pointing a gun at him. Catching the gun, with the severed hand still holding it, Machete wades into battle, slaughtering all of the men in the house with both the gun and his machete. He smashes into the room where the kidnap victim lays naked on the bed. She sits up as he enters, balking at his order to get dressed. He scoops her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and starts carrying her out, the girl seeming to enjoy it.
More of Torrez's men enter the house. Machete puts the girl down and she starts feeling his muscles. Touching his machete, she asks if it's sharp. Told that it is, she pulls it from his belt and stabs Machete through the thigh, incapacitating him. She kicks him in the face and pulls out a small mobile device hidden within her private parts, saying, 'I got him.'
To Machete's horror, the Federal chief walks in, telling him he should have stood down like he was ordered. Machete's superior is working for Torrez. Torrez himself walks in, accompanied by his henchwoman/slave girl (Cheryl Chin), who rewards the naked chica for her work in capturing Machete... with a bullet through her head. Torrez is disappointed that Machete is the only one of the Federales who doesn't take bribe money to look the other way on Torrez's activities. Everyone in the DEA and the Marshals is doing so. Finally Torrez says he should ask Machete's wife. Machete is horrified as his wife (Nina Leon) is brought in and slaughtered right in front of him. Torrez then coldly says that Machete's daughter has already suffered the same fate as her mother. Aiming his katana at Machete's neck, Torrez says beheading him would give him an honorable death. But an honorable death is exactly what Torrez doesn't want to offer Machete. He has his men kick Machete down and set the house on fire, leaving him to burn.
The opening credits play.
A small day labor site in Texas, three years later. Mexican day laborers gather here, hiring out performing menial tasks that will earn them and their loved ones a living. A radio program is heard playing; the host is interviewing Franklin Jonas, deputy director of the local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office. Jonas is discussing the ongoing effort to enforce US border security against illegal immigration. Jonas says that battling the stem of illegal immigration is difficult because of the long border between Texas and Mexico. He says they need to dismantle a large, elaborate support network that helps immigrants cross the border and settle in America, finding them jobs, resulting in American citizens remaining unemployed and poor. Jonas says ICE's best agents are investigating the network in an effort to dismantle it.
One such agent is busy at work as she listens to the radio program... Agent Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba). She is doing surveillance and taking photos at a small taco/coffee stand run by a pretty young woman named Luz (Michelle Rodriguez). Sartana suspects Luz as the Network's kingpin, code-named 'Shé.'As an elderly Texan hires some day laborers, having them load up his pickup truck, Sartana pauses at the sight of a face she finds interesting... a tall, muscular, Mexican man with scars and tattoos. It is Machete. Taking photographs, Sartana speaks into her personal recorder, saying that she knows he is new in the labor site, and requests that Machete's photo be run for possible criminal background. She watches Luz call Machete over. A day laborer knocks on Sartana's window, asking if she needs a gardener. She shows him her badge and he hurries off.
Nighttime along the US/Mexico border. A van drives a group of immigrants to a spot just shy of the border, ordering them out to go the rest of the way on foot. A young man begs for assistance for his wife, who is both heavily pregnant and ill, but he only gets a gun pointed at his face by the unsympathetic driver. The immigrants all startt to rush through the border.
A jeep rushes to intercept the immigrants, its driver and passengers whooping and calling 'roundup time.' They coldly slaughter several of the immigrants as the others rush back further into Mexico. Out of the van steps Von Jackson (Don Johnson), a wealthy Texan landowner who despises illegal immigrants. The husband of the pregnant woman is wounded, and she cannot run in her current state. The terrified woman watches as Von approaches her. She doesn't speak English and he doesn't speak Spanish-- he by choice. A cameraman in the jeep takes footage as Von tells the woman and her husband that they are trespassing on land belonging to Von's father. Von then pulls his gun and shoots the woman in the stomach, mortally wounding her and her unborn child. The more squeamish of his henchmen cannot stand the sight, but Von is unsympathetic, warning that if the woman delivered her baby on American soil, it would be entitled to American citizenship and all its benefits. He tells his men that many people consider them vigilantes, but he sees it as vigilance. He then asks, 'Who's gonna stop 'em, Senator?'
The man Von addressed as 'Senator' (Robert De Niro) says, 'I am' and guns down the woman's husband with a rifle, coldly saying, 'Welcome to America.' He then makes sure that video footage was captured, for the benefit of his wealthier supporters.
A television commercial then shows that this Senator is John McLaughlin, who is running for re-election in the Texas state senate. McLaughlin despises illegal immigration and is looking to make sure it is fought fiercely. The commercial ruthlessly compares immigrants to parasites who bleed America dry from the inside out, and shows that McLaughlin supports building an electrified border fence, and harsh, jack-booted border patrollers/enforcers. The propaganda in the commercial goes so far as to show pictures of large numbers of maggots and cockroaches whenever the narrator in the commercial speaks of, 'the invaders.'
Day time. An illegal back-alley bareknuckle fight is taking place. Bets are being placed as one fighter defeats the other. The victorious fighter points at a passerby he sees, whom he considers a worthy opponent. The fight promoter calls out to the man-- it is Machete. Machete balks at being invited to fight, looking at the taco and coffee in his hands. The promoter baits him by offering him $500 for five minutes in the alley.
Machete walks into the circle and puts down his coffee, but keeps his taco in his hand. He dodges the punches thrown by the fighter, making him look clumsy. Machete is even able to continue eating his taco as he evades all the adversary's attacks, not even bothering to throw any counterpunches. Finally the fighter misses another punch, but hits his hand on a solid metal beam, breaking his hand. Machete wins the fight by default and is paid the money as he recovers his coffee.
A black luxury car with tinted windows has stopped near the alley; its driver (Jeff Fahey) watching the fight intently.
machete goes to Luz's taco stand and pays her $5 for the taco and coffee she'd given him earlier. Luz looks over Machete's shoulder and sees Sartana approaching. All the day laborers, knowing Sartana well, scatter at her approach. Sartana goes to the stand to buy two bean and cheese tacos and a coffee. Luz is sarcastic and unpleasant in her reception of Sartana; the two women know each other and don't like each other one bit. Sartana occasionally wants to see Luz's credentials to ensure she is still authorized to live and work near the labor site, and Luz, thinking turnabout is fair play, likes to ask to see Sartana's badge in return. As they 'civilly' argue over the morality of Sartana enforcing immigration, sending unauthorized laborers back to squalor and poverty in Mexico (Sartana herself is Mexican, so Luz and many of the laborers see her acts as treason toward her own people), Sartana drops a few not-so-subtle hints showing she suspects Luz of aiding illegal immigrants. Luz finally gives Sartana the tacos she requested, more to get rid of her than anything else.
A news bulletin reports on a sharp decline in support for McLaughlin; his hard-line stance on immigration is wearing thin on several of his support groups.
Machete is arriving back at the labor site when the luxury car pulls up and the driver, whose name is Michael Booth, tells him to get in. Machete starts to tell Booth about the labor services he does and his rates for them, when Booth suddenly asks him if he's killed anyone before. He brings Machete into a well-appointed office and pours him a drink. He slides a folder across the desk to Machete containing a photo of McLaughlin. He quickly describes McLaughlin's hard-nosed policy on illegal immigrants and their labor, before giving Machete his pitch: Booth says that the state runs on the services provided by these immigrants, as their rates are cheap enough to keep the state's expenditures at a minimum, which it desperately needs. So, Booth says, since immigrants are being deported in alarmingly increasing numbers, it's to both his and Machete's benefit if the senator is rubbed out.
Booth produces a briefcase filled with used bills, $150,000 worth of money, which he says he will pay Machete for the job. Machete downs his drink and tells him to get someone else. Booth says that there's no time left to find another person; the job has to happen tomorrow. He admits that he cannot force Machete to do the assassination, but he can make sure Machete suffers an unfortunate accident if he refuses. Once the job is done, he gets the money and can disappear and do a lot of good with the cash. Booth takes Machete to a room filled with a lot of high-tech, sophisiticated firepower and hands him a state-of-the-art assault rifle, along with a cell phone in case there are any problems; saying Machete needs to be on the roof at 1 pm sharp, and fire the shot by 1:04 pm. As he leaves, true to his nature, Machete sees a machete on the table and takes it with him as well.
As Machete leaves, Booth gets a call on his cell phone, showing it is from "April." Quickly he drives to a crackhouse and kills everyone there, pulling out a blonde girl (Lindsay Lohan)-- his daughter, April. He berates her on not coming to him to get her needs met, and she groggily gives a tossed-off, 'sorry, Daddy' as he drives her away.
Machete sits on a bench at the labor site, looking at pictures of his family during happier times. He goes to Luz's taco stand and gives her the money he was paid-- the whole briefcase full, telling her to use it well. Machete knows that Luz is involved in the support Network-- they helped him get across the border once.
Senator McLaughlin is making a public appearance-- this is the site that he is supposed to be killed at. Machete gets on to the proper rooftop at the appointed time. McLaughlin's speech is beautifully-crafted propaganda designed to work his listeners into a frenzy. He compares immigrants to terrorists who take jobs from honest, hard-working American citizens that bust their backsides to feed their families. His propaganda speech does exactly what it's intended to do-- stir the passions of his listeners to tempestuous levels.
Machete is lining his shot up on McLaughlin, centering the scope on his rifle, when he happens to glance a little to one side. Using the scope for a better view, he realizes there is a second sniper concealed on another rooftop... Booth's aide (Shea Whigham); and he is aiming another high-powered rifle... at Machete.
The sniper's bullet wounds Machete in the shoulder. He then quickly turns and shoots Senator McLaughlin in the leg. Booth calls out and points to the rooftop where Machete was perched, and everyone turns and sees Machete on his rooftop, trying to get away. Cameras catch footage of him running away with the rifle in his hands. Quickly Machete sees the whole job was a set-up. He has been framed for the assassination attempt on Senator McLaughlin. Machete must fight and shoot his way past a security guard and a number of Booth's henchman to make good his escape. But as he descends a fire escape and hurries down an alley, he is clubbed from behind and knocked down, and two lawmen are pointing combat shotguns right at him at point-blank range.
They take Machete into the squad car and drive off with him, where they reveal that they are also Booth's accomplices, laughing over it because they think Machete doesn't speak English. The driver of the squad car says Machete must believe they are real cops because they frisked him, cuffed him and put him in the car just like real cops do. But suddenly the 'partner' says he didn't frisk Machete.
Machete's machete erupts through the chest of the squad car driver, the blade having been driven clean through the backrest of the seat, and the driver's back. Machete twists the blade to force the driver's hands to turn the steering wheel in such a way that the car crashes. Machete kicks out the rear windshield and gets clear just as the fake squad car explodes, killing both henchmen.
News stations are reporting on the assassination attempt and that the would-be killer was of Mexican descent. Booth goes to his office and sets up a laptop wireless conference call-- to Torrez. He uses the conference call to show him the news footage of the assassination attempt, saying that McLaughlin's re-election is now a shoe-in-- Torrez is shown to have an interest in the re-election. As he watches the news coverage, Torrez notices that the hired assassin looks familiar. He backtracks and zooms in, recognizing Machete, but saying nothing about it to Booth, who writes Machete off as a day laborer off the streets who won't be missed. But Torrez warns Booth that he had better be able to provide positive proof that the hired assassin is dead.
As the conference call ends, Booth gets a phone call from the sniper saying it's done-- he 'thinks' Machete is toast. Booth sternly orders the sniper to triple-check every hospital and morgue in the city to verify positively that Machete is dead.
Machete is being taken to a hospital that specializes in discreetly treating illegal immigrants. Two pretty young nurses rush him to an ER while carefully telling him that nobody knows he's here, and he was brought in as a John Doe. Machete is taken to Doc Felix (Felix Sabates), who is impressed that the bullet rebounded off of Machete's shoulder and would have lodged in his head and killed him, but it was stopped by another bullet that had already lodged there from long ago. As Machete awakens, Doc Felix tells him in Spanish that everyone in the hospital is part of the Network.
The sniper arrives with henchman, carrying flowers. He tells the reception nurse he's there to visit someone who'd been brought to ICU. Suspecting trouble, the reception nurse gives directions, but the sniper quickly figures out she's lying, and the directions she gave lead to a back exit from the hospital. He starts to head in the correct direction, and the reception nurse quietly alerts Doc Felix.
Machete springs into action, collecting a number of surgical instruments used for scraping bones clean. He pulls the belt off one nurse's uniform and asks Felix to pass him an air tank.
The sniper is on one side of a double doorway, and through its windows he sees a stretcher approaching the doors. Quickly he drops the flowers, revealing a gun hidden among them, and fires several shots. The stretcher pushes through the doors, showing it was propelled by the air tank, which was strapped down to the stretcher, under the sheets, by the nurse's belt.
As the sniper and his henchmen see the ruse, they all turn toward the door... but Machete was hiding under the stretcher, hidden by the sheet. Using the surgical instruments, he kills a number of the sniper's henchman, ripping a hole open in one's midsection and grabbing his intestine, using it as a rope to go through the window and rappel down (Felix had conversationally mentioned to the nurses that the human intestines are sixty feet long).
Sartana is playing a combat video game that uses movements from her whole body as controls. As she finishes up, her boss, Jonas, calls her and tells her that McLaughlin was shot by an illegal immigrant. Sartana rushes to her TV and watches footage, amazed as she recognizes Machete. Jonas orders her to bring him in.
Machete is staggering down a street when he is found by Luz, en route back home with her taco-stand truck. She tells him that he's all over the TV and ushers him inside her truck, driving him to her house.
TV news updates show that the assassination attempt on Senator McLaughlin has pushed his ratings to a commanding lead in the re-election race. That he was shot by an illegal immigrant is convincing people that harshly strict border security is now necessary.
Luz brings Machete into her bedroom and lays him down on her bed, breaking open an egg underneath the bed so its vapors will help Machete heal. Machete sees various newspaper clippings on Luz's bedroom wall showing her dressed and armed as a revolutionary soldier-- strongly hinting that she is the legendary 'Shé' who leads the support Network. Luz sadly tells Machete that while she is the Network's leader, the figurehead of 'Shé' is an imaginary personage she created to give the people she helps, a sense of hope and purpose. If she really was this figurehead, Luz wouldn't be operating a taco truck. Luz originally just tried to provide food for immigrants and try to discreetly get them jobs, but now Von and his border vigilantes are hunting her and her people like dogs. Machete tells Luz that she is a fighter and can stop the injustice.
Luz reveals that she knows who Machete is-- she's heard about the legends. He suggests that maybe the legend is better. Saying she'll be the judge of that, Luz gets into the bed and sleeps with Machete.
Sartana is on Machete's trail, searching for him. Her computer, tapping into identification databases, finally identifies a photo of him and Sartana is astonished as she reads the file on Machete, his background as an ex-Federale, his impressive credentials.
Booth is at his palatial home breakfasting with April, and his wife June (Alicia Rachel Marek)-- on tacos, of all things. Despite being involved in drug-dealing, Booth is trying to get April in college to go on to a decent career; but April reveals she models herself-- pornographically-- on the web, and her site receives a tremendous amount of internet traffic. Booth's cell phone rings; the sniper is reporting in about Machete's escape. Booth furiously orders the sniper to go to the corner where Booth picked Machete up, and find him.
The sniper corners a day laborer and questions him on Luz's whereabouts. The laborer says he hasn't seen Luz yet-- 'she's late.' The sniper realizes that the laborer didn't mean 'she,' but 'Shé...' and the laborer knows where 'Shé' lives.
The sniper is arriving with more henchmen at Luz's house. Machete awakens, alone, finding Luz gone, and that the Texas heat has cooked the egg under the bed. The sniper's henchmen, automatic weapons at the ready, prepare to open fire as one of them knocks on the door. A steel machete bursts through the door, through the henchman's forehead and out the back of his skull. Seeing this, the sniper orders his remaining henchmen to burst in and get him.
Machete ambushes one of the henchmen, gruesomely killing him with a wine corkscrew. Hearing the man's death-scream, the sniper reaches into his car and pulls out a wired C4 brick, hurling it through one of the windows. As Machete kills the remaining henchmen, Sartana drives up to the house, looking to question Luz about Machete. She sees the sniper drive off as Luz's house explodes, hurling one of the dead henchmen away from the blast to land right on the hood of Sartana's car. She screams in horror and jams on full reverse, driving away.
Machete is limping away from the house when Sartana finally finds him. Pulling her gun, she orders him into her car... and calls him 'Agent,' revealing she also knows who Machete is.
As Sartana drives, she and Machete talk. Sartana reveals she is with ICE, but she doesn't plan to bring Machete in... she wants information that she knows Machete has. Sartana is looking to transfer to a different job within her company, tired of working over Luz and the laborers who gather at her taco stand, admitting that the guilt arising from her own Mexican heritage is getting to her. She questions Machete on the assassination attempt and he tells her that he was planning just to shoot McLaughlin in the neck, rendering him mute and stop his propaganda campaign. He then reveals it was all a set-up and another shooter was there. Sartana, amazed, turns toward Machete and asks who it was.
Taking advantage of the distraction, Machete grabs the gear shift for Sartana's car and yanks on it, causing Sartana to lose control of her car and forcing her to jam her foot on the brakes before she crashes. Machete disarms her quickly and points the gun at her, telling her to resume driving. Calming down, Sartana reveals she knows what happened to Machete's family, but she begs him to trust her, because she believes the system works here... she started in ICE as a janitor, working her way up through translator, assistant, and to her current position as special agent. Machete however, dismisses this as another method for Sartana's superiors to get her to continue 'taking out the trash.' She continues trying to plead with him, looking to put Machete into witness protection if he just tells her who hired him for the hit on McLaughlin... but Machete doesn't answer.
Booth and the sniper are getting a fax that identifies just who the 'nobody' day laborer they hired for the hit, really was, finally understanding that he is serious business. A wireless conference call on Booth's laptop is connecting him to Torrez, who asks if the sniper is the man Booth assigned to kill Machete. He's disappointed at Booth's high tolerance for failure-- but Booth says he is not tolerant, and proves it by garotting the sniper to death right in front of the monitor so Torrez can see. Booth then announces he is calling in Osiris Amanpour, the deadliest, most notorious professional hit-man in Texas, to deal with Machete. But this is not enough to get Booth off the hook-- Torrez warns Booth that he has 24 hours. After that, Torrez will be forced to come up to Texas himself-- and if he has to do it, then after he kills Machete, he will kill Booth as well.
Sartana has brought Machete home and is fixing him a meal in hopes that it will persuade him to talk. Machete doesn't know Booth or who he is, just that he is not Mexican, and Luz doesn't know anything about him either, meaning the Network isn't involved in the assassination attempt. Machete tells Sartana that Booth paid him $150,000 to do the job, though he doesn't tell Sartana why he took the money. Sartana continues trying to reason with Machete. She knows that he is essentially a man with no country now-- he has no legal papers for American residence and couldn't hope to return to Mexico. She can get him documentation, but he needs to work with her... starting by telling her who hired him for the McLaughlin hit.
Seeing that Sartana's hand has edged close to the knife she used in preparing the meal for him, Machete points her gun at her again and tells her that he is going to find the man who hired him and deliver him to Sartana. To win her trust, he hands Sartana's gun back to her before leaving her home. Sartana is sardonic at his exit, saying she knows he took the bullets out of the gun before returning it... but then she checks the clip and finds she was wrong-- Machete returned the gun to her fully loaded, trusting her not to use it to arrest him again.
A day laborer named Julio (Daryl Sabara) and a friend of his are arriving at Luz's house, horrified to see it in ruins... but Luz comes up behind them, showing she is alive and well, and can't be taken down that easily. She thinks that Von was behind the bombing of her house and tells Julio that Von's gone to war with them. Smiling slyly, Luz tells them she wants to show them something. She does not notice Sartana driving up to the house.
Luz takes Julio and his friend to her garage, showing an impressive arsenal of high-tech firepower. Still, she says, it's not enough for 'the revolution.' She's not going to be around forever, and if something happens to her, she says, Julio needs to find Machete and tell the people that they need him.
Sartana walks in and confronts Luz, gun drawn. When she asks where Machete is, there is a brief moment of panic, Julio certain that Sartana is looking to deport them all. Sartana assures Julio and Luz that Machete's told her that they were not involved in the McLaughlin shooting. Still, she knows that the garage is a hiding place for something, and she wants to know what.
Warily, Luz shows Sartana everything... the garage is her headquarters for The Network. The walls are covered with cork boards on which are placed photographs with notes on people she's helped get across, find work, and she makes sure they all do their part in becoming productive workers that help others in turn. She also has a board for people that are missing, presumably to Von and his vigilantes. Another board has photos and clippings of Von and his men. Luz doesn't know who is funding him, but Von's efforts are making a mess of Luz's operations. Her network does go very deep, including lawyers, priests and doctors of all backgrounds and races.
Sartana reassures Julio that she's not going to blow the whistle on what she's learned. She's going to walk away quietly and pretend she hasn't seen it. As she leaves, she tells Luz and Julio to let Machete know she's looking for him.
Machete goes to a Catholic church. The Padre there (Cheech Marin) was once a fellow Federale with Machete, who has retired from that business and joined the Priesthood. And yet, he is the one Machete is now turning to for help with Booth and all his henchmen. Padre says he'll try to help Machete however he can, though he is very unenthused at having to call on his former skills once again.
Padre takes booth to his office in the church, Turning on a TV, he shows Machete footage of McLaughlin and Booth giving a press conference shortly after the assassination attempt. Machete points Booth out as the man who hired him and finds out for the first time just who Booth really is-- he's an aide to Senator McLaughlin himself. Booth comes into Padre's church a lot to make confession; mostly for improper and indecent fantasies involving April. Padre gives Machete a 'file' he compiled on Booth: typed transcripts and audio CD recordings of confessionals showing that Booth had confided a great deal of his life's goings-on to Padre. Padre has been keeping this file ever since he found out Booth was running his own drug cartel, a dealing Padre believes that even McLaughlin doesn't know about. The question at this point, which neither Machete nor Padre have any idea on at the moment, is why Booth would hire Machete to kill McLaughlin if the Senator is Booth's own boss. Padre tells Machete that his presence in the church isn't safe-- for Padre himself. He gives Machete a hurried, tossed-off church absolution and ushers him out. But as Machete leaves, he tells Padre he's borrowing his car-- a hearse that Padre keeps for a side-business... funerals.
Machete goes to Booth's house. He finds his way to the shed and grabs some gardening tools so he can pose as a hired gardener. Two of Booth's guards let him past, directing him toward the back yard to clean up there. As Machete goes on his way, the guards resume their idle conversation; one is sardonic about how people will let any Mexican person into their home when they're carrying gardening tools, when in fact they could also have a chainsaw... or a machete.
The guards whirl around just in time for one of them to get whacked by a thrown tool. Machete knocks both guards out, ties them up and dumps them in some high foliage around the front yard. He then finds his way to the swimming pool, where April is setting up a hidden video camera to shoot more footage of her making out with a man, to post on the internet. And this time, her mother, June, is going to join in for a threesome. April and June note that Machete is not the usual gardener, but deciding that he looks more than ruggedly handsome enough, they invite him into the pool. Machete is shown holding a bottle of 'scorpion tequila' before he starts undressing.
Machete gets in the pool, making out with both April and June. He's then seen taking the video camera and depositing April and June, both still naked and now unconscious from the drugged tequila, into the back of the hearse. He goes to Booth's office and steals a number of recordable DVD's which he knows contain a lot of sensitive information, although he finds they are encrypted so he cannot access and view them on Booth's laptop. Finally he puts the video camera, with a sticky note saying, 'watch me,' into the box where Booth kept the DVD's.
Machete brings the still-unconscious April and June to the church. Padre is incensed but is reluctant for Machete to simply dump the two women in the street somewhere.
Booth arrives home, disconcerted at finding the whole house seemingly unoccupied. He goes to his office and sees his DVD box open. He finds the video camera and plays its footage as the note directs him to, shocked and horrified as he sees the footage of April and June making out with Machete. Booth's cell phone rings. Thinking it's Machete, he furiously demands to know where his family is. The call, however, is from Osiris. He's found out about Padre, and his relation to Machete.
A re-election TV commercial for McLaughlin is shown, exploiting the shooting for sympathy votes. The narration mentions that after taking a vow to defend the state constitution, he has now also taken a bullet for it.
Night time at the hospital where McLaughlin is still recovering. He gets a call on a cell phone he's been keeping hidden-- it's Von. Von has heard that McLaughlin has a problem that Von can help fix. Despite the clear business relationship between McLaughlin and Von, their civil relationship is not quite so cordial-- McLaughlin needs to keep any hint that he has ever spoken to Von at all, quiet and under wraps, lest Von's bad reputation as a border vigilante rub off on him.
Von is talking to his right-hand man, Billy (Billy Blair) about the shooter. Von knows he's gone underground. He tells Billy that he way to find him is to find the Network. He then says they need to call their 'special friend' and ask him to send a lot of heavy firepower if he's serious about wanting the border shut down. A monitor near Von lights up to show his 'special friend...' it's Torrez.
Machete brings all the evidence he has on Booth to Sartana. She plays them on her laptop. One shows video footage of Booth explaining the assassination idea to, of all people, Padre. A motive for the set-up is finally revealed... if an assassination attempt on the Senator by a Mexican was foiled, and McLaughlin ended up with only a flesh wound in the leg, enough public sympathy would be generated to not only get McLaughlin re-elected, but even become a viable White House candidate.
Sartana and Machete cannot, however, access the encrypted sub-folders on the DVD. But the confessional itself contains a hint to the password: Machete looks at confessional footage revealing Booth's twisted sexual desires for his daughter and guesses the password to be 'I (heart symbol) April.' Instantly the encrypted files snap open and Sartana is astonished at what they reveal. Everything comes together now: the partnerships between McLaughlin and Booth, Von Jackson... and Torrez. Machete is grim as he finds out that Torrez is the kingpin behind everything. Sartana finds that Torrez is funding McLaughlin's re-election campaign because he actually wants the electrified border fence built... but the DVD also shows special 'weak spots' along the fence... spots that would allow Torrez to gain a complete monopoly control over all illegal drugs being run from Mexico into the United States.
Sartana drinks as she puts the whole plot together, and by the time everything is figured out, she's become intoxicated. Machete takes her shoes off her feet and lays her in her bed. Sleepily, she invites him to come lay with her. Machete slowly takes off his leather jacket and gets into the bed.
Luz is closing and locking up her garage when she is confronted by Von and Billy. Von believes that Luz is behind the shooting of McLaughlin. He's found out she's with the Network and believes she is at the head of practically all of McLaughlin's problems. Luz tells Von that she doesn't work that way, but if Von wants a war, she'll give him one. Von suggests instead an eye for an eye... before pulling his gun and shooting Luz-- right in her eye, leaving her barely alive and clinging to life in the road.
Osiris is entering the church with henchmen, but Padre sees them coming on a security system he's installed to watch out for burglars. Knowing immediately these men are bad news, Padre (a little reluctantly) grabs two loaded, high-powered shotguns, getting ready to put his former skills as an ex-Federal to good use.
Knowing the layout of the church grounds far better than the would-be assassins, Padre gains the element of surprise and takes out all of the henchmen, leaving Osiris alone against him... or so Padre thinks. Padre nearly gets the drop on Osiris as well, but his leg is suddenly gravely wounded by a firearm blast... coming from Booth, who coolly walks in and greets Padre sardonically.
Booth and Osiris crucify Padre, nailing his arms to the cross that is at the church's altar, interrogating him to learn Machete's whereabouts. Padre is aghast at the thought that Booth hates Mexican people that much, but Booth denies this-- it's all about money and profit; a more secure border that only Torrez knows how to circumvent limits drug supply and drives prices up. Even McLaughlin himself doesn't know about Booth's connection to Torrez and being so heavily involved in the drug trade. Booth gives Padre one last chance to tell him where Machete is. But Padre tells him nothing, knowing he is dead either way. Driving more nails in as hard as he and Osiris can, Booth gives Padre his death.
Sartana wakes up, sober, finding herself snuggling with Machete and surprised at it. She hurries to check her clothes, sighing with relief at seeing that Machete did not take advantage of her while she was drunk. Smiling at the realization, she turns over and snuggles again, putting her head back on his shoulder. Machete slowly awakens and starts to roll Sartana off of him. She's reluctant, but Machete is not being merely modest this time... he sees silhouettes through the curtained windows. More assassins have found them.
Machete and Sartana spring into action, killing all of their would-be slayers... Sartana winning a hilariously choreographed one-on-one battles using a pair of stilleto-heeled shoes as weapons against the masked leader of the assassins. She pulls off his mask, stunned to recognize him as Culebra Cruzado, an elite professional hit man. Sartana and Machete realize that if he was called in, then Booth knows about Sartana and is looking to have her taken out as well. Machete suddenly mumbles, 'my hermano' and rushes off to the church with Sartana.
Staring at Padre's crucified body, Machete takes out the cell phone Booth gave him. He sends Booth a stern warning via text message: 'You just f[CENSORED]ed with the wrong Mexican.' As Machete leaves the church, Sartana glances up and happens to notice a security camera that she realizes caught footage of Padre's murder.
Booth receives Machete's text, knowing that Machete is coming after him now. Torrez appears on Booth's monitor via conference call. Behind Torrez is a view of the Texas capitol building, showing he is in Austin. He's come to kill Machete... and he tells Booth that Machete's death is the last thing Booth will see. In desperation, Booth tries to bribe Torrez by telling him about Sartana, saying that she is an ICE agent who now has enough evidence on both Booth and Torrez to bring down the entire operation.
Machete storms Booth's home, taking out the bodyguards easily. The bodyguard chief hands Machete a GPS device that will lead Machete right to McLaughlin's limo, and Booth is with the Senator now; he is due to be released from the hospital.
Sartana is on the phone with her boss, Jonas, telling him all about the conspiracy she's uncovered. She listens in complete disbelief as Jonas rails on, only about Machete being Mexican and an illegal alien. Telling Jonas that she's going to do what's right, she hangs up and walks up to a Spanish-language news building, handing over an envelope to one of the news correspondents.
McLaughlin is scheduled to be interviewed by the press as he is released from the hospital. He and Booth argue over TV coverage of Padre's murder and that it appears that Machete was involved. McLaughlin is no longer buying Booth's argument of Machete being a 'nobody' and a 'cockroach' that will 'soon be squashed;' he knows that Machete is a one-man killing machine and he doesn't want to be next.
As he is released from the hospital, McLaughlin goes to meet with the press; Booth beside him. Booth has given McLaughlin a cane so he can feign a more serious injury to milk the crowd for sympathy. McLaughlin launches smoothly into his anti-immigrant propaganda, quickly bringing out his heavy-artillery words of 'terrorist' and 'invader.' But the correspondent who met with Sartana is attending the conference, and she quickly lowers the boom on McLaughlin and Booth. The press coverage quickly shows everyone video footage not only of Booth murdering Padre, saying, out loud, that he was martyring McLaughlin to get the border fence built... but also of McLaughlin cold-bloodedly killing the young Mexican man and his pregnant wife in the border shooting with Von Jackson.
McLaughlin and Booth race out of the hospital into McLaughlin's limo where they have it out in a heated exchange of words. Booth furiously shouts that he was practically McLaughlin's personal Jesus and virtually owns his soul. McLaughlin angrily pulls a revolver and shoots Booth several times in the chest, before carjacking a taxi to make his escape. Machete arrives then, his trademark machete ready to carry out his own execution... but finds himself late to the party; Booth mortally wounded in the rear seat and McLaughlin nowhere in sight. Like a sinner making deathbed repentance, Booth tells Machete everything he needs to know about the partnership with Torrez, using the orchestrating shooting of McLaughlin to ensure that Torrez would gain complete control over the Mexican drug runs into the United States. He begs to know where April and June are, and Machete only says, 'with God.' Dryly remarking that he won't be seeing them in that case, Booth dies from his gunshot wounds.
April and June finally wake up from their drugged stupor; finding themselves still naked and in the office of Padre's church. June picks up the phone to call for help and notify her husband... only to receive the grim news that Booth is dead; shot by Senator McLaughlin. Staring in sick grief and anger, April fixates her gaze on a nun's habit hanging on a clothing hook in the office.
At Von Jackson's compound, men are rehearsing combat drills. McLaughlin calls Von, who is infuriated at TV coverage that has revealed his ties to Torrez's drug cartel. He holds McLaughlin responsible. McLaughlin says Machete has to be smoked out, and he wants to personally put the bullet in Machete's head. He says he is joining Von and his men for one last 'ride-along.'
Day Laborers are gathered at Luz's taco stand, laying wreaths and memorials. As Machete arrives, Julio quickly finds him, telling him that Von's vigilantes killed Luz and are now after Machete. Speaking like a leader himself now, Julio tells Machete that the people need him to spearhead the war on Von. Despite being adopted, he wants to help. Machete starts to rebuff Julio's offer, when Julio stuns Machete by repeating Machete's own words three years ago to his slain partner: 'if not us, then who?' strongly implying that Julio is the son of the partner killed at Machete's side in the encounter with Torrez three years prior.
Julio takes Machete to an auto chop shop where he works. His co-workers have all of the firepower Luz was keeping stashed at her garage and are preparing for war. Machete tells Julio that attacking Von will lead them to Torrez.
Sartana arrives at the taco stand, trying to question the Day Laborers about Machete. But the laborers, none of them trusting Sartana any further than they can throw the taco stand, quickly turn their backs and walk away from her-- until Sartana finally climbs up onto the hood of her car and passionately begs the workers to join forces and fight against the people who are trying to get them expelled from America. Finally renouncing everything she's worked for in front of the laborers and defining the difference between laws, and what is right and wrong, Sartana wins over the laborers and earns their respect. They shout in unison, ready to organize the whole Network into action.
None of them notice one man congratulating Sartana on her speech and likening her unto Machete, saying she's Machete's kind of person... dead. The man is Torrez.
Cell phones spring to life all across the city; Mexican laborers spreading word as the Spanish-language Noticias news station reports on Booth's murder at the hands of McLaughlin after the revelation of Torrez having funded McLaughlin's re-election campaign. At the chop-shop, Julio tells Machete that McLaughlin and Torrez have gone to Von's armory to prepare for battle, and that Sartana is now Torrez's captive. Getting into cars and onto motorcycles, the laborers all follow behind Machete and Julio.
McLaughlin arrives at Von's compound, but finds the welcome nowhere near as warm as he'd hoped. Considering McLaughlin in league with Mexican illegal immigrants and guilty of treason against the state of Texas, Von is preparing to have McLaughlin executed, and the execution broadcast on live TV. As McLaughlin is led away, Billy orders all the other men to their posts to prepare for the assault that they know Machete is going to lead on the compound.
Tied to a chair in a shed, McLaughlin is forced to announce in front of a camera that he has betrayed his oaths of office and deserves to die as a traitor. Meanwhile, the convoy of laborers-turned-revolutionaries arrives at Von's compound. Julio's car is fitted with hood-mounted RPG launchers that blow open the gate and take out a high tower suitable for Von's men to launch artillery fire of their own. The revolutionaries charge into the compound and the battle erupts. Slowly the battle starts to turn cheesier and campier as reinforcements arrive for the Mexican people... Doc Felix's ambulance; his two sexy nurses pickin gup discarded automatic weapons and commencing fire on Von's men... and out of the ambulance steps Luz; alive and well; an eyepatch over the eye she was shot in... dressed and armed like Rambo's daughter.
Von and his firing squad must postpone the execution of McLaughlin and rush outside to help battle the revolutionaries. Luz and some revolutionaries find their way into the shed, where Luz tells McLaughlin that if he wants to live, he needs to become Mexican quickly. Happy to fight for whatever side will ensure his own survival, McLaughlin dons denim clothes and a hat similar to the revolutionaries' attire, and is given a pistol.
The battle quickly escalates into a hilarious blend of Rambo meets the A-Team; Von's men slowly being decimated by the revolutionaries; Luz and Machete bagging the most casualties. Billy flees the armory with a few men, abandoning the rest. McLaughlin is suddenly struck by a hearse that pulls into the compound. The fallen senator isn't quite sure he trusts his own senses when he sees a beautiful young Catholic nun walk up to him. He pleads with her to give him last rites, thinking he's dying. But the nun is April, wearing the habit she'd taken from Padre's office... and ready to carry out her own form of justice. She shoots Mclaughlin three times in the chest, before picking up an automatic weapon and joining the battle.
Seeing he has lost the war, Von gets to his jeep, gunning down a few revolutionaries as he seeks to escape the compound. He barely gets past the door when he sees Luz's reflection in his rear-view mirror. It is the last thing he sees.
Machete, however, has one last battle to fight. Torrez confronts him; his henchwoman/slave girl holding Sartana, who is bound and gagged. Torrez uses his katana to free Sartana, before ordering both women to back up and watch the duel.
Torrez baits Machete as they battle; Torrez's katanas against Machete's machetes. Torrez speaks about their past together as fellow Federales before Torrez went for power instead of honor. They killed a lot of 'bad guys' together, but now Torrez is the bad guy.
Machete makes a lunge for Torrez; who disarms him and throws him to the ground. He prepares to behead Machete, but Machete's blade is close by. He grabs it and drives it clean through Torrez's middle. Acting like the wound is hardly serious and that he could kill Machete now, Torrez instead 'relents,' tossing his katana aside and going to his knees, grabbing the machete and disemboweling himself; committing hara-kiri in front of all the combatants The henchwoman/slave girl, the sole survivor of the altercation who was against the immigrants, walks off alone. Machete, Luz, and Sartana all climb up on car hoods as the victorious revolutionaries raise their weapons and cheer in victory.
In the middle of the night, at the wreckage of the armory, ex-senator McLaughlin awakens; he had been given a bulletproof vest by Luz, which protected him from April's bullets, though his leg and hip are still hurt from being struck by the hearse. Using the cover of night, he goes to the border, looking to escape into Mexico, where he is found by Billy and the few survivors of Von's army who escaped the compound. Not recognizing McLaughlin due to the darkness and McLaughlin's still wearing the laborer clothing, Billy and his men gun McLaughlin down, leaving him entangled in the barbed-wire fence, Billy repeating McLaughlin's own quote from the border shooting: 'welcome to America.'
Machete is driving down the road on a motorcycle when a police car pulls up behind him and blares its siren. Machete stops, and Sartana steps out of the car. She's pulled some strings and gotten Machete legal documentation for permanent resident status in America. But Machete refuses the papers, saying he has no need to become a 'real person' again now that he is already a myth among Mexicans struggling to make a life in America. Saying she'll ride with him wherever he goes, Sartana climbs onto the motorcycle and starts making out with Machete as he drives off.
Fade to black, with a narrator giving the obligatory 'of course the entire world will cease to exist unless you get an entire crapton of sequels' pitch, complete with appropriate captions:
Machete will return in:: MACHETE KILLS!
And in: MACHETE KILLS AGAIN!