Machete (2010) Poster

(2010)

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8/10
If you try to analyze Machete, you're doing something wrong.
Andrew Gold14 March 2016
Machete is one of the funnest movies I've ever seen. Right from the beginning you know this movie doesn't take itself seriously. It's essentially a live-action cartoon with A-list actors. You have Danny Trejo - the antithesis of a leading man - carrying the movie as Machete, the unkillable badass Mexican James Bond. If you want to talk plot, this is basically a revenge story. Steven Seagal kills his family, then years later Machete gets caught up in a political scandal where Robert De Niro is playing a cross between George Bush and Donald Trump, and somehow Seagal's character is pulling the strings. It's as amazing as it sounds. Then you have Don Johnson as the head of border patrol or something, mowing down Mexicans all over the place, and Jeff Fahey as one of Seagal's enforcers in Texas. Now you may be thinking, "Four villains? This sounds more convoluted than Spiderman 3!" And you'd have a point if this was a traditional action movie, but it's not. At all. It's a comedy more than anything with some ridiculous action sequences and gratuitous T&A all over the place. These characters just serve to forward the plot, and to give us some belly laughs, and somehow it all works beautifully.

Jessica Alba is one of the officers assigned to this scandal. Michelle Rodriguez serves as the leader of a Mexican resistance, oh and there's Lindsey Lohan playing Jeff Fahey's "religious" daughter. There are so many characters and somehow they all fit the movie perfectly. All of the acting is great (well, Alba is never "great" but she serves her purpose and she's as hot as a supernova so who cares). But you can buy Robert De Niro as a corrupt senator, Don Johnson as this racist megalomaniac, Fahey as this hard-ass enforcer, and Seagal as a Mexican drug lord. Yeah. And the best part is they're all having a blast. It's pure mayhem going on, and you're not bored for a second. Danny Trejo as the title character deserves much props though. He just looks like a guy who would have a wide array of knives stashed under his vest, and the guy is making out with some of the hottest women on the planet. It's the role of a lifetime.

Robert Rodriguez is amazing for making this an actual movie, and the cast are amazing for agreeing to be part of this project. It's so, so, SO entertaining. It's damn near impossible to sit through this movie with a straight face. I had a big fat grin throughout the whole thing. If you like silly action movies with fantastic actors and a surprisingly good plot, then look no further than Machete.
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8/10
Why is this not billed as a comedy?
Michael Donelly6 September 2010
When I saw the trailer for this film I thought it had to be trash but I laughed almost from the beginning to the end. Tongue in cheek humour - it's all intentional, there is nothing unfunny about Machete.

I was ready for a lot of gore but it was all done in such a hilarious way that I hardly noticed how disgusting it was. I fact, I was still laughing 5 minutes after I left the cinema.

If he wasn't already so old I would say Danny Trejo was an undiscovered talent set for a meteoric rise, but the guy is already 64. I never could have guessed as the adrenaline and action pumped incessantly.... and hysterically this weather-beaten old dude also managed effortlessly to bed any chiquita he came across, and in style too.

Machete kills and maims and has sex all the way through the movie, but amazingly he is also a gentleman. you have to love him.

The best movie I have seen this year and the best movie of this genre for some time. Top marks for not taking itself one bit seriously but knowing exactly how to entertain!
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8/10
Machete delivers
jjohns333 September 2010
This film is what it says it is. Nothing less. And perhaps a little more.

Most of Machete's critics that have given overall negative reviews, have fallen into a trap of their own devices. Machete is an exploitation film and was advertised as such. By definition, and exploitation film will include excessive violence, gore, nudity, and be high on intentional corny lines while low on plot devices and character development. To give low ratings to Machete because of one's distaste for the genre, would be like saying "The Shinning was awful because I don't like horror."

This is one of Rodriguez best films to date, side by side with Sin City (2005). Machete delivers on all accounts of action, gore, nudity, and corny lines. The plot is simple, but honestly, that's how it should be. The thing that sets this apart from other exploitation films is that the acting is top notch. I personally found that the three main female characters to be the most intriguing and diverse.

Jessica Alba plays the part of an ICE agent struggling with her loyalty to her nation and her people. She slowly begins to question her own logic on if people should follow law simply because they are laws. We see this struggle immediately, when she approaches a taco stand (apparently once every week) to by a coffee and lunch, despite her own people feeling from her site. Why does she continue this ritual? She says it is to check the papers of the character Luz, but really it is to try and hold onto a sliver of identity among her people.

Michelle Rodriguez plays said Luz (aka She) as an underground leader of illegal immigration. The character of Luz is a simple woman who believes in not bending to the broken system, but fighting for her people (the mirror image of Alba). "She" is only a myth on which Luz has built a cult following, understanding that sometimes being a myth can do more damage than flesh and blood. By the end of the film, Luz is reborn as the mythical She, just in time for the bloody battle.

Finally, the actress that surprised me the most was Lindsay Lohan. Despite only receiving 10-15 minutes of screen time (most are which she is undressed), she plays her character perfectly and flawlessly. The role seems to be written specifically for her and I applaud her for stepping up and taking on such a mature role. One of her first scenes is a tongue-in-cheek conversation about how she needs to give the people of the internet what they want, and that is more of her. Lohan played the part beautifully (in all aspects) and specks of talent are clearly visible. I hope that filmmakers and audiences (as well as herself) continue to allow her opportunities to showcase that talent.

Machete is an exploitation film at its finest. And, for the most part, if you are the type of cinema attendee who wants to see a movie called Machete in the first place, chances are you will be thoroughly entertained.
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10/10
Mexploitation and Entertainment at Its Best
kac-1225 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
MACHETE, a Robert Rodriguez film, starring Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Robert DeNiro, Steven Seagal, Lindsay Lohan, Tom Savini, Cheech Marin, and Don Johnson…. Soak that in for a moment. The story for Machete, as outlandish as it is, goes something like this: He looked like just another day laborer from the hood, and the perfect scapegoat for a corrupt political assassination. But he turned out to be MACHETE, a legendary ex-Federale with a deadly attitude and the skills to match. Left for dead after attempting to go against the notorious Mexican drug kingpin Torrez, Steven Seagal, Machete has escaped to Texas. But what he finds is a web of corruption and betrayal that leaves a bullet in a senator, Robert DeNiro, and Machete a wanted man. Machete sets out to clear his name and expose this conspiracy, but he does it…. The MACHETE way. What ensues is a wildly creative tale of carnage, vengeance, and a Mexican Revolution. You might have been familiar with this film since 2007, since a fake trailer for Machete was shown in the ambitious double feature event Grindhouse that is now regarded as legendary trailer…. Well, now you have your entire film version. Danny Trejo is finally getting his due here. Always the most bad-ass in his film appearances, he's never had much of a leading role, except for now. He is fantastic as Machete, and at the current age of 66, the action he does is pretty phenomenal. Machete is the type of character that always gets the one-up on the bad guys and the love of the ladies, and you can just sense that Trejo is loving every moment of it. Luckily, so are we. Machete is a film chock-full of truly schmaltzy performances from every member of the cast. The big difference here is that the schmaltz is intentional. The villains of this movie are so appropriately evil and murderous, with a samurai sword wielding Steven Seagal, in his first villainous role, simply stealing the show as Torrez. Yes, I just said that Steven Seagal stole the show over a hilarious politically incorrect politician Robert DeNiro, a sleazy rogue businessman Jeff Fahey, and a sinister Mexican shooting Don Johnson. You really want to see these foes get what they deserve. Bonus points if you spot Quentin Tarantino in a blink and you miss it cameo! With these villains, and their humorous henchmen, Machete also has his own connections and compadres. Jessica Alba is, believe it or not, the main love interest to Machete and some of her deliveries are so cringe-inducing, it's squirm-worthy. Yet, she's alright! There's also Michelle Rodriguez as Luz, a rather attractive taco truck lady who may have a secret identity as a Mexican patriot who plays it just fine. But it's Padre, Machete's brother, played by Cheech Marin, whose sequences in the film are some of the very best. He's hysterical and can handle dual shotguns like nobody else. And yes, Lindsay Lohan is in this and she's not half-bad for the little things she has to do. When she's not nude, she's dressed up as a pretty nifty revolver packing nun, but she doesn't pack that much of a punch. Machete is a film that embodies all of the facets a 1970s blaxploitation film would have, but with the Hispanic culture. This is Mexploitation, with a resonant grindhouse feeling, complete with film reel scratches and fake political ads. But the violence and action in this is so extraordinary and unapologetically gruesome, with the extremity of it all not being taken seriously at all. The things they do in this film, guaranteed you haven't seen most of them ever done before. Corkscrews, high-heels, weed-whackers, and, of course, machetes, are only a very small listing of all the tools and weapons used to dispatch characters in Machete. It's over the top, absolutely ridiculous scenes that pop up every five minutes and make for a joyous film experience. There are too many be-headings, blood-splattering gunshots, and limb removals to count…. Don't even get me started on the stabbings. To add the cherry on top, Machete is shot perfectly, fluidly, and inventively. Machete is completely, for lack of a better term, over the top, has a fitting heavy and groovy soundtrack, and never holds back on the gore. The dialogue is hokey and full of Mexican puns, but it knows this. Machete loves to poke fun at itself and its ridiculous concepts, with characters questioning certain events in the movie, realizations that everything is insane, and an awesome B-movie touch that graces the opening of the end credits. Machete is Robert Rodriguez's most enjoyable and best film to date. It's so fun, so amazing, and actually provides a sort of a social political message, now with racial profiling and immigration being a controversial Americana topic. It's why Machete is such a great film for the times, and will be looked upon as one of the culturally relevant films of the last couple years… I'm as shocked as you are. Machete is the best action film of 2010 and is certainly one of the best of the year. It's fantastic entertainment that I oh so highly recommend you watch. Machete es...... Yes, excelente.
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7/10
trejo's big moment
tanelteder4 January 2011
The big hour of Danny Trejo (Machete) has finally arrived. Yes, this is the first movie where the ex-convict and a man who's face looks like a Moon's landscape, is in a leading role. He does well in his role. This is exactly what he is good at. And it is killing (bad) people. He is doing that extremely stylish I gotta tell you. Just look at the first scene.

Robert Rodriguez has his own earmark. This is something you know what to expect, but you still looking forward to see, cause you wanna see how is he doing that this time. It's called riot. A crazy rumble which is out of control. It happens here too. And it's solid and quite fun.

This is a good entertainment. It's not for everybody. Rodriguez fans love it, others just feel a bit entertained.
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Classic Rodriguez
jdesando7 September 2010
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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7/10
Humor and violence - Grindhouse style
guiltron13 December 2010
Machete is Robert Rodriguez's film based on his mock trailer made for the double grindhouse release of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof and his own Planet Terror. B-Grade superstar Danny Trejo stars as the title character. Those that have seen the mock trailer, or the grindhouse films, know the style of yester-year that Machete is representing. Cheap, nasty, and funny is the order of the day for this kind of film. Rodriguez clearly knows his genre and audience. He goes all out with this over-the-top action flick. The story is, of course, ridiculous. Machete is betrayed by some "above the law" dudes and has to get revenge by slicing and dicing whoever gets in his way. The film does what it says on the cover. Don't go in expecting a glimmer of subtlety or characterization. Go in expecting action, titties, action, blood, titties, oh and action. This would be all well and good except for some slight problems. The unashamedly preachy messages against the Mexican/United States border does get a bit tiring, as does the repetitive nature of the violence (after some interesting action set- pieces they all become similar, except towards the end). Also, this kind of film needs to be much snappier and shorter. It's around twenty minutes too long so that the humor and overall style tends to drag on a bit. Machete holds it's tongue permanently in cheek and Danny Trejo milks every scene as much as he possibly can. Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay Lohan all make for good eye candy and there are some very funny moments. All in all, this exercise in grindhouse excess should keep the fans of this style very happy, even if it can slightly bore others.
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9/10
Corny, Violent, Cheap, And AWESOME!
I caught a screening of this film not too long ago, and all I have to say is that it was an adrenaline rush! The violence was overwhelming, and the writing was cornily witty. Pretty good performances all around from Alba, Trejo, DeNiro, Seagal, Lohan and many a more. Great entertainment, perfect to sit down with some buddies on a Saturday night and have a good laugh.

No doubt in my mind this will do well in the box office, and well, not so well with the critics. But forget what the critics say this is a great flick, and a damn fun one too!

Plot: After being betrayed by the organization who hired him, an ex-Federale launches a brutal rampage of revenge against his former boss.

usualfilmfan
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8/10
"Machete" Is Not For Everyone, But It's Was Fun To Me
D_Burke27 September 2010
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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8/10
THE FILM of Danny Trejo
Claudio Carvalho9 April 2011
In Mexico, the determinate federal agent Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) opposes to the order of his chief and drives with his partner to the hideout of the drug lord Rogelio Torrez (Steven Seagal) to rescue an abducted woman (Mayra Leal) that is witness against the gangster. However, he finds the witness naked on the bed but he is surprisingly betrayed by her, 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 (Jeff Fahey) to assassinate the boasting right-winged Senator John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro), 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 (Michelle Rodriguez), 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 (Don Johnson) and is associated to Torrez. Now Machete seeks revenge against his enemies and becomes a myth.

"Machete" is a funny action movie and THE FILM of Danny Trejo that perfectly fits to the anti-hero. The story follows the style of B- movies, with exploitation and ultra-violence, but has a cast that is a constellation of stars. There are memorable lines (my favorite is when the priest says "God has mercy, I don't") and details, like the name of the garage (Machete's Chop Shop). I have just watched this film on DVD, and the deleted scenes shows many details of the story that unfortunately have been deleted in the edition, like the twin sister of Sartana Rivera "Sis", or Rose McGowan as the assassin "Boots McCoy". My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Machete"

Note: On 22 September 2015, I saw this film again.
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3/10
Are you kidding me? This movie SUCKS
Warning: Spoilers
I have a question for a lot of the positive reviewers on here: Did you REALLY like this movie, or are you just gushing out of respect for Rodriguez??? I'm a Rodriguez fan too, in case you didn't know. Tarantino and Rodriguez are the kings of b-movies. They know how to make a good b-movie and their extensive filmography has shown. With Tarantino you have Kill Bill, Jackie Brown and Inglourious Basterds, with Rodiriguez you have Planet Terror, From Dusk Till Dawn and the king of all things "Visually gorgeous", Sin City. What I love about both of them is that while their films are indeed exercises in Style Over Substance, they're aware of it and don't take themselves too seriously.

I still stand by Grindhouse as the most fun I've had at the theatre. Two great movies from two fantastic directors with some hilarious fake trailers thrown in there for the price of one. After "Hobo With A Shotgun", "Machete" showed. I laughed so hard! And then the news broke that Machete was going to be a full movie. I was excited.

Turns out, some fake trailers should just stay fake trailers.

As I mentioned earlier, Rodriguez's films are Style Over Substance. But they are aware of it, and don't take themselves too seriously, and for that, come off as awesome. Was this movie Style Over Substance? Yes. Did it follow its "Don't take yourself too seriously" rule? Well, it did... for the first 20 minutes.

I was liking the first 20 minutes. Even as a gore hound, I was wondering if I should be eating during that scene! Then of course, we get the awesome betrayal scene and the hospital scene... I especially loved when Machete cut the man's abdomen open and used his intestine as a rope to escape through a window. I laughed!!! Then it went downhill from there.

First off, Jessica Alba was annoying. Take her out of the movie and it wouldn't be different. All she does is just run around and scream the plot out loud. The most cringe worthy scene was near the end when she got up on the bonnet of the car and made that speech. That brought back memories of "Robin Hood" of earlier this year (you know what scene I'm talking about). Second, this film has too much plot in it, and too many characters. For a movie that's supposed to be a b-flick, this movie shouldn't be about political mumbo jumbo.

The characters are a big letdown here. Or at least the representation of characters. Let's begin. "She" is a great character. About halfway through the film she is killed off... then near the end she survived!!! Or the Priest. He is a likable character too. Then he gets killed off 5 minutes after his first appearance. Or what about Daryl Sabara's character? He's a funny guy and he has (what feels like) 30 seconds of screen time... and yet he's one of the main actors in the opening credits!!! Bigger yet, what about the villain? WHO'S THE VILLAIN? Is it Segal, who has a total of 6 minutes of screen time, De Niro, or Fahey, who easily out of the three supposed villains gets the most screen time... except he dies 10 MINUTES BEFORE THE CLIMAX. Or Lindsay Lohan... why is she even in there, other than the fact that she's Fahey's character's daughter??? The climax is a total anticlimax. There's no excitement in the battle at all, it's incredibly dull and boring. Even the iconic bit shown in the trailer with the bike was underwhelming. And Segal's character's death even felt copped out and lazy.

By the time the film was done, I was so glad I was out of the theatre. The film bored me enough with its slow pace. For a movie that claims to be an ultra gory action b-flick, there's about 10 minutes of action, 90 minutes of boring dialogue. This is supposed to be a b-movie, not some political crap. I like slow paced films, but not when they're supposed to be fun b-movies.

Sorry, Mr. Rodriguez, but I think your days are numbered!
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1/10
What's Mexican slang for crap??
Mrswing18 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Robert Rodriguez strikes (out) again. Stringing together some cruel moments of gore with lame comedy, a few bare breasts (how people can rave about the copious nudity in this movie when there's hardly anything on show is beside me), heavy-handed political satire which makes his sincere message come across as racist stupidity and some of the least exciting action scenes ever, Machete is a complete failure. Acting performances are weak across the board, and Danny Trejo is a frightening figure, yet he doesn't cut it (ooh, look, I made a pun) as an interesting lead character. He doesn't have the charisma to transcend the extreme simplicity of the character. And while I know he could crush me with his bare hands, he certainly doesn't convince when going up against villainous henchmen half his age. The finale is the worst part of the film. The heroic Mexicans attack the racist American vigilantes, and much slaughter ensues, but without any tension at all, with extremely weak choreography and telegraphed 'cool' moments referencing 'classic' exploitation characters which are largely embarrassing. Nothing is quite as embarrassing as the final battle between Trejo and Steven Seagal, though. No choreography to speak of, shot and edited in the least effective way (I've seen better fights in TV-series), and with an utterly lame ending, it has absolutely no redeeming features. Except that it's short (barely one minute of screen time). Maybe one day Rodriguez will accept the fact that he can't write or tell stories, and start working from scripts by other people who can. Until that day, we'll be stuck with crap like Machete, however.
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2/10
Mr. Rodriguez, you owe me $8.00.
leantom-24 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
There are a number of great Mexploitation films. "El Mariachi," "Desperado" and "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" all come to mind. Not only were those films action-packed and entertaining, but they contained good plots which one could follow without losing interest.

Then, there's "Machete."

I'll keep things honest, seeing as (apparently) the only submitted reviews were done by film crew members.

The movie starts out well. In the first scene, Machete (and his partner, who dies almost immediately) storms into a drug cartel, wreaking havoc against armed goons with nothing but his (get ready) machete. He kills about a dozen people, rescuing a naked female hostage in the process. However, as they're leaving the cartel hideout, she betrays Machete to the cartel's leader, a man named Torrez (played by Steven Seagal). Machete being subdued, Torrez tortures Machete but decides not to kill him. Instead, he kills Machete's wife and child and leaves Machete alive so that he can suffer for the rest of his life.

Yes, it's simple, but the movie actually looked quite good up until this point. Then, the nightmare began.

Rather than construct a decent story and continue with the main plot (i.e., a man with nothing to lose trying to avenge the deaths of his wife and child), the movie veers off into a tirade of politicizations and hate-mongering. It portrays white conservatives (get ready for some originality) as racist red-necks who are hell-bent on killing Mexicans for sheer enjoyment. It even shows a U.S. Senator (played by Robert De Niro) killing a pregnant illegal alien and her spouse, saying afterward, "My supporters would love this" (paraphrase).

(Yes, Hollywood, people are not against illegal immigration because it destroys the Rule of Law, hurts the economy, increases unemployment, increases violent crime, puts financial burdens on tax-payers, etc. - it's because they hate Hispanics).

Before continuing, I just want to mention that the writer of this review is the product of a Hispanic father. OK, here we go.

As already mentioned, after the opening sequence, the movie becomes overtly political. The aforementioned senator (played by De Niro) is seen campaigning for re-election, his main political platform being the construction of a border-fence designed to keep out illegal aliens (the horror!). However, many people in power are against this, and they hire Machete (now a day-laborer) to assassinate the senator. Of course, as indicated by the coming attractions, Machete is betrayed by the very people who hire him, and it is revealed that they are, in fact, working for the very cartel leader who killed Machete's family (what a startling coincidence!). It turns out that Machete was only hired to arouse public sympathy for the senator and increase the public's demand for a border fence (which Torrez, the cartel leader who killed Machete's family, wants, given that then he can control the drug trade between the Mexican-U.S. border).

The story gets very boring, with immigration politics ascending into the forefront. The action slows down to a grinding halt, and the story devolves into simple political platitudes (check out Jessica Alba's call for a race-war near the end of the movie, demanding that illegal immigrants incite violence in order to acquire citizenship).

In conclusion, this movie sucks. Mr. Rodriguez, I want my money back.
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5/10
Not as good as the trailer in Grindhouse
MBunge7 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Machete contains a heaping dose of bloody violence, a moderate amount of nudity and waaaaaay too much sledgehammer moralizing on the issue of illegal immigration. It has some trashy thrills but becomes too bloated and blurred by Robert Rodriguez' inability to decide if he's making a modern version of the 70s exploitation flick, an homage to 70s exploitation flicks or a parody of the 70s exploitation flick.

Machete (Danny Trejo) is a legendary and legendarily violent Mexican cop who tried to take down a drug lord named Torrez (Steven Seagal) and lost. His family slain, Machete is exiled to America and spends the next three years as an illegal immigrant day laborer. Then one day, he's hired by a man called Booth (Jeff Fahey) to assassinate a virulently anti-immigrant Texas State Senator (Robert De Niro). It turns out that Machete is just a patsy in a bigger and much more elaborate plot and, with the help of Immigration Agent Sartana (Jessica Alba), illegal immigrant underground leader Luz (Michelle Rodriguez) and his brother the priest (Cheech Marin), the squat and wattled Mexican juggernaut sets out to settle scores both old and new.

This film has a lot of people getting brutally killed and several attractive women getting naked. Combine that with a bluntly effective performance by Danny Trejo and you've got the basic ingredients for some low brow fun. Unfortunately, Rodriguez does a very poor job in mixing them together. You can ignore that for a while, but it eventually leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

To start with, there's just too much of everything in this movie. In addition to loads of cannon fodder, it has 4 major bad guys and three sub-level bad guys. In Star Wars terminology, that's 4 Darth Vaders and 3 Boba Fetts. Yet with all of those villains running around, Machete only manages to sort of kill one of them. In addition, one of those bad guys doesn't get just one ironic comeuppance, he gets 4 ironic comeuppances and they all happen in the last 15 minutes of the film. No, I'm not exaggerating for effect. And Machete doesn't just have one badass chick on his side, he's got 3. Too much of this movie is like an old school pro wrestling battle royal, with 20 guys in the ring at once all trying to throw each other over the top rope. It sounds neat in theory but in reality, it's just an undifferentiated mass of humanity flailing away at each other.

It also doesn't help that this film has a very schizophrenic tone. At times, it's played fairly seriously as though Machete were supposed to be a straight forward action flick. Then there are moments that are much more tongue in cheek, winking at the audience to let them in on the joke. But then the movie sometimes goes so over-the-top that it can't be seen as anything more than parody. In Schwarzenegger terms, it's like combining Eraser with Kindergarten Cop and then blending that with The Last Action Hero.

Lindsay Lohan is in Machete and she looks…well, just horrible. If you've ever wondered how accurate the tabloid stories are about Lohan's life, one look at her here will resolve all doubts. It's not only that she gives probably the worst performance in the whole cast. It's also that she appears far more haggard and world weary than the actress who plays her mother. The phrase "rode hard and put away wet" has never been more appropriate than to describe Lohan in this motion picture.

There are some good bits to Machete but after an explosive start, it loses its zest in too many mood swings and gets weighed down by too many complications. This film began as a fake trailer in Rodriguez and Tarantino's Grindhouse and that's as far as it probably should have gotten. It's not horrible, but it's definitely not anything you need to pay theater prices to see.
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5/10
Go watch Grindhouse or Desperado again
Ivar mr.6 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I' try to keep it short and to the point. The action scenes were boring and the only thing that made this movie watchable was the star cast and some one-liner jokes. Don't get me wrong, I thought there were some good scenes in this movie but not enough to make a full length motion picture worthwhile. I suggest you (re)watch Grindhouse and Desperado instead of this mess of poor gore action and politics.

PS! Why does Machete have 6 throwing knives and a bunch of machetes under his coat when he only uses the one in his hand?! Also Segal has gained enough weight to not be suitable for any action apparently so all scenes that required any movement at all were filmed with a double from behind and the 1 minute end fight was really boring. So my question is why give him any martial arts scenes to begin with?
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10/10
Over the top brilliance
Liam Greenfield11 March 2011
Machete is one of those films that you know what to expect before you go in. It is understood that this is an exploitation flick, which will have excessive violence, sex and nudity. What pleased me most about this film, that as well as that (which should be minimal expectation before going in), it has a well told cohesive story and some real power house acting. I am a big fan of Rodriguez's earlier film, 'Desperado,' and Machete is similar to that; except where Desperado took itself seriously, this film has its tongue firmly in cheek and from this you get a lot of the humour - and it works. From start, all the way through to the finish, there is something happening that keeps you glued to the screen. Perfect to watch in a group, especially if some of them have a low attention span. Limits have been pushed and I love it. It is not excessive violence for random excessive violence sake; it's been thought about and works extremely well in regard to the story and tone of the film. I would describe 'Planet Terror' as a practice for what Rodriguez wanted that didn't quite deliver and Machete as the masterpiece - that delivers on all cylinders. I cannot recommend this film enough as a riotous laugh out loud, violent and engaging experience.
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3/10
Captain Planet meets a Junior High diary
Steve4 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Interesting to see all the boilerplate 8-10 ratings before the film came out. Typical WhollyOdd: front-loading IMDb with praise to raise a film's rating and coax people to see it.

This is one of those films that combines a half-baked political message with a thin pretense of story so that the filmmakers can bask in the glow of their supporters' praise while claiming "it's just a movie" when opponents point out the glaring falsehoods, rationalizations, dropped contexts and hyperbole. Gutless and petulant, it reminded me of Captain Planet, in which evil men set out to destroy for destruction's sake with no perceptible gain for their actions.

On the other hand, the script had to have been adapted from the diary of an 11-year-old girl throwing a tantrum because she didn't make the cheerleading squad, so petty and self-pitying as it is.

In a nutshell: ALL opposition to illegal immigration is based solely--that's right, there are NO other reasons--on sourceless hatred of Mexicans. That's it. The complex and far-reaching ethical issues, financial realities, social architecture, et. al. are reduced to "they don't like me!" Nothing about legitimate support for legal immigration, nobody claiming anchor babies, ZERO about the restrictive and racist policies of Mexican immigration... nada. Again, it's like an overlong and hyper-violent episode of Captain Planet written by a rejected tweenager.

The synopsis is something about a betrayed cop, but that's not the real story. Not that it matters, but the "plot" is a plan to restrict access to the US by electrified border fence which enjoys support from universally racist Texas citizens. But it's designed with strategically placed access points so the personal aide of a politician who opposes illegal immigration can get drug mules through. This would be pertinent if it weren't lost in the cloying miasma of race pimping.

Said politician makes campaign commercials and speeches straight out of the Leni Riefenstahl handbook, directly comparing Mexicans to roaches and maggots, repeatedly referring to them as terrorists (personally, I **don't know a single human being** who would remain in a room with, much less support, such a piece of crap). Happily, he magically realizes the error of his ways in a last-minute transition to Mexican identity (via poncho and hat, wouldn't it be great if that's all it took to change nationalities?) before he's gunned down by his daughter, and later by the very rednecks he's been aiding--who don't recognize his face in bright, revealing floodlight. Thus completes the adolescent fantasy of revenge, humiliation, capitulation, forgiveness--but he's still murdered by his own kind.

In the film, Mexicans are victims: virtuous, beloved of family, and utterly blameless across the board. They have no significant faults, but are incessantly harassed for existing.The biggest obstacle to their integration as productive members of society is the United States' refusal to treat them like human beings. At worst, a priest carries guns and kills, but only in self-defense before he's tortured and murdered, nailed to a cross for protecting his people against the evil whites. Plenty of symbolism there.

Whites are--let's see if I can remember it all--illiterate, uneducated, prone to vomiting at the sight of blood, hypocrites, sacrilegious, happy to shoot pregnant women and teenage boys in cold blood for a snuff video, unable to accept differences of opinion within their own communities, confused about their own beliefs, in the mood for sex with their own strung-out daughters (both mom *and* dad, no less), happy to torture and kill inside a church, and apparently the true benefactors of Mexican drug cartels.

Blacks and Asians happily serve whites to the detriment of their fellow minorities. Because they dislike Mexicans, too. Admittedly, that's the part that's NOT Captain Planet.

On the other hand, Michelle Rodriguez looks great with her pants almost falling off, even as she slaughters those other-than-la-raza.

And there will be sequels!
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2/10
Every Now And Again.......
Greywolf90724 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
...a film comes along that raises questions that just need addressing and demand answers. Machete is one such film. With a plot loosely, and I use that word guardedly, based around the steady influx of illegal immigration oozing into Texas from Mexico and their impact on the States economy you would perhaps be forgiven for thinking that the questions raised would demand some serious chin stroking about the relative merits of economic migrants. However, none of those questions even poke their metaphoric head above the parapet and instead we need to ask 'why did a player like Robert De Niro end up in this garbage?' 'Why was it made?''Who watches and rates this sort of stuff so highly' and finally a big fat 'WHY?'

Steven Segal, who has not made a decent movie since 'Nico' and has since appeared in the same dreadfully dreary film countless times as an 'ex cook/soldier/sailor who suddenly finds himself in the middle of a terrorist action and single handedly hams his way through until the mind numbingly dull finale....manages to stumble his now portly self through this claptrap while managing to keep his perfectly black hairpiece in place (grow old gracefully Steve)adding nothing to the 'plot' whatsoever.

The dialogue throughout is appallingly bad and seems to have been written by a retarded schoolboy and his mates who think that 'grown ups' talk like that....it's dire...all of it.

The action sequences consist of some old bloke with a bad mullet and a big moustache hacking various rubber appendages off of extras in poorly choreographed fight scenes that probably appeal to that same group of schoolboys that penned the script, as an 'action hero' the main character can't run, can't act and certainly in real life would not be bedded by hot women within 2 minutes of meeting them.

Don 'Miami Vice' Johnson, remember him? also appears as some grossly caricatured comedy baddie with a hat to chew up the scenery when others give him the chance to....all in all...this is a pathetic film.

Is it a comedy? did not make me laugh....is it a spoof?...did not make me laugh...is it terrible? you bet.

If you are an 11 year old shut in with a bizarre view of what baddies are then you will be right at home here, if not, give it a miss unless you really want to annoy yourself silly.
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2/10
Dripping and Oozing With Unspeakable Hate
Sexy_Metalhead9 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I still remember seeing Grindhouse and how I and the audience roared in approval to the fake trailer of Machete. It had it all and felt just like a total B-Movie, I loved it. "They should make that into a movie." I remember saying. Well, they did......yes they did.

I had high hopes as I arrived in the theater expecting a total B-Movie, leave my brain at the door and have at it. What I got was something completely different. Machete is indeed a revenge movie as the fake trailer entailed, but this is not the point of this.

Sure, we get to finally see the awesome tough guy Danny Trejo in his first ever starring role, and yes Machete does get in a lot of killing, and yes the violence is truly over the top. I did laugh and roared at some of the over the top action, get to see sexy ladies in Michelle Rodriguez in some sexy hot pants, Jessica Alba in a provocative shower scene,(and I mean provocative)that just has to be seen by any guy ,Cheech Marin as a shotgun toting priest and nudity. All the B-movie fixings.

So what was the problem? The message. This was a hate filled tirade against America and anti-immigration. About 98% of the bad guys here are white guys. I saw precisely one Black man and one Mexican bad guy. Everyone else was a hate filled racist that would make a snuff film of a pregnant woman getting killed and a frightened teen onlooker. They say, "Welcome to America." before putting hot lead in any Mexican in a sadistic glee.

They run political ads that are over the top and continue to point out the EVIL U.S.A. cause apparently we are just a bunch of bloodthirsty hate filled psychopaths. Also we are some brain-dead rednecks that can't stand the sight of bloodshed.

Bottom line, this is a big long political statement and a VERY hate filled monstrosity. Remember, Whitey is EVIL, America is EVIL. Mexico is GOOD. American women are GOOD. Add more insult: Steven Seagal as Torrez, a Mexican drug lord. Remember, Whitey is EVIL. Just so you don't forget. I am Robert Rodriguez and I approve this message.

Needless to say, Machete is a tremendous disaster. My high hopes were blasted by a cruise missile.

I had no idea that Robert hated us so much.
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1/10
Soooo stupid, Robert Rodriguez has the mind of a 10-year-old.
VideoGameHollywood11 September 2010
Here's the deal. Robert Rodriguez is no brilliant director that the world thinks he is. After watching ALL of his films you can tell that this guy has the mind-set of a 10-year-old. He's a complete tool, wearing tight v-neck shirts and probably gets off to pictures of himself. Machete was just what you think it is. A Mexican Rambo who is fighting for immigration rights. But wait this movie is unique because its campy and exploitative.... NO, its corny, thats it, Robert Rodriguez is corny. He has no originality, just the mind of a immature juvenile who loves himself. The movie is a typical action movie with some fun blood effects and boobs, but nothing more. Watch Desperado for Danny Trejo acting in a better character, but lets be honest, even that movie becomes unwatchable after 2/3 the way through. It's just bad filmmaking and people like him will continue to make garbage for the rest of their lives.

Rating = D- ...and i'm being generous

  • VideoGameHollywood.com
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1/10
UBER-Crap
Razvan Iulian28 September 2010
If Robert Rodriguez makes a movie, you give it at least 9 out of 10. Why? Oh my GOD, WHYYYYY???? This is not a movie, this is super-mega-uber-trooper-CRAP !!!! Storyline? Pfff, yeah right! A 6 years old retarded kid could have came up with this "action" story. So what if mister Rodriguez makes movies with Tarantino? Even these guys are allowed to make mistakes? Why should you allow them to think that they are making good movies all the time? Why, people, WHY? The mistakes are BIG, very big. (robert De niro shoots Jeff Fahey in the chest with a ... red paint ball ... What? Those are very stupid special effects. But No ...you morons don't see it because it's Rodriguez. And Steven Seagal? "Uuuu, I know! If you can't kill me because I'm the God of martial arts and stuff like that ... I will kill my self by harakiri with a machete! A? Am I a genius? If not a genius, at least the God of all warriors, right?" ...So that's how they've came up with that kind of ending for mister Seagal. I have a question: How do you kill a mean Mexican like Dany Trejo? You can't ...He's more powerful and resistant to bullets and explosions than The Punisher! Another question: How do you create an even more hotter Michelle Rodriguez? You just shoot her in the head ... so that the bullet would hit her eye. And ...a rope out of an intestine? Come on people! I really think that mister Robert Rodriguez should do a couple of super-hero movies. He's just good at making every main character of his untouchable ...the Superman kind ...not the Van Damme kind!!! Having that much blood (red paint balls), this movie can not be watched by children ... which is too bad because that is it's target: 10 years old kids.
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1/10
Over 6? No way - closer to 2.5
recklessron20 September 2012
First, 1 star for balancing purposes.

What can I say? Lots of action and nothing else.

Witty, clever, brilliant, intellectual, thoughtful, well crafted and worth your time are all things that this is not.

IMHO: There is not ONE clever line, the script could be written by an illiterate teenager, and the plot... well if you saw the first five minutes, and took some time to consider how things might go (other than the obvious), you wasted it.

There are two reasons to watch - Lohan is topless and Alba is fully naked without really showing anything. However if that is what interests you I suggest you get the clips. They'll be under 3 minutes and you'll have seen everything worthwhile in this overly predictable piece of trash that would be insulting to 'B' movies if it was labelled as such.

I saw this for free and I want both my time and money back!
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Trashy movie that is not worthy of an 8/10
Ronald Litvak6 September 2010
I'm not going to lie, the first thing that struck me was the glaring political messages in this movie. They are ridiculously one-dimensional and reappear throughout the movie; they serve no purpose but to support the loosening of illegal immigration enforcement on the Mexico-US border.

Everything else basically followed your generic American action movie: killings, sex, a simple plot that is not too difficult for the audience, etc. After watching 30 minutes of the movie, I was already sick of it. It may be "brainless fun," but, although it is definitely brainless, it managed to not entertain me even when employing stars like Deniro to its obvious cause. Trashy movie that is not worthy of an 8/10.
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1/10
Machete gave me the runs
kingcoyame11 September 2010
Just saw Machete today and what a waste of my time and money! terrible acting and direction(deliberately?). I assume Robert Rodriguez was trying to parody the cheesy directing style of the 70's blaxploitation films or like the very funny "Black Dynamite" or even it might be he just plain sucks, but whatever the case, it just fails miserably to be a funny or interesting take on that subject. I like Danny Trejo, Robert Deniro and Cheech Marin but wasted in the films bad storyline. I hope Danny Trejo gets better acting roles in the future. As for the illegal immigrant "political" side of this flick that some folks are offended about is hilarious to me, I am of Mexican heritage and whoever thinks that people are going to race riot because of this stupid, embarrassing, lame ass movie than you are just as stupid, embarrassing and lame as this piece of crap movie is.
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1/10
Trying to inspire a race war...
HaddonfieldJason5 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
'Machete' is a film that clearly hates America. Director Robert Rodriquez wants to make the Mexicans stand up and be violent to God fearing white people. How are flag carrying God fearing freedom loving heroes like Governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio supposed to do their jobs when films like 'Machete' plague the cinema? The Good lord Jesus Christ speaks through Jan Brewer and el diablo speaks through 'Machete'. I say in order to protect freedom we burn every copy of 'Machete'. The film is not without it's merit however. I must admit I really enjoyed the character of John McLaughlin. I would vote for him in a second. He is a handsome Texan played by Robert DeNiro.
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