Monday, May 9, 2011

A Frank Review of "Machete" (2010)

The Short Version? You messed with the wrong Mexican!
What Is It? Action Comedy
Who Is In It? So very many bad cameos.
Should I See It? No.

Uncensored NSFW Red Band Trailer (A.K.A. 90% of what's worth watching...)

Grindhouse was a cinematic experience unlikely to be recreated in my lifetime. Two abbreviated "bad" movies made great in context sandwiching a set of faux '70s trailers for low budget schlock recreations. Among those trailers was "Machete," about an illegal immigrant caught up in political intrigue that is resolved through ultraviolence and hot sex. It was magnificent, and of course every Mexican and film geek to cross Rodriguez's path afterward demanded an actual "Machete" movie be made. So he did. Which was a terrible idea, because the joke is thoroughly and perfectly played out over the span of the fake trailer. Everything else is just tedious filler and retread, like one of the many awful Saturday Night Live spin-off movies.

Rather than waste more of my time and energy than was expended through my actual viewing of the movie (supplemented by tossing through the last few months of my friend's copies of Bizarre magazine,) here is a quick rundown of what worked in the movie: The nudity in the pre-title sequence, some of the early kills, the entire hospital sequence, Danny Trejo's deadpan, Jeff Fahey and Michelle Rodriguez.

Things that did not work out: Jessica Alba as an "actress," her fake semi-nudity, Robert DeNiro as a comedian, Don Johnson, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, the horrible CGI blood effects, most of the inert green screen dependent action sequences, Steven Segal past the initial amusement of his playing a Latino, the hammy political commentary, the bionic sound effect, Machete's unexplained survival of the pre-title sequence, the "writing," and the "direction."

Machete wants to be campy fun, but it's basically a shitty train wreck that tries one's patience. My advice if you're set on watching this is to put it on and just let it play until you get tired. The movie progressively peters out toward a truly limp ending, so you can basically munch on it until you've had your fill without missing anything worthwhile thereafter.

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