Robert Rodriguez is a pretty cool cat (in my book at least). Most known by the people my age for directing films like the Spy Kids series, and better known by the more mature aged for films like Sin City (2005), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and the Grindhouse films done in collaboration with Quentin Tarantino (a good friend of Rodriguez’).
In 2010, Rodriguez released Machete, starring Danny Trejo as the titular character, alongside Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and Steven Seagal!!! WTF!!! He’s alive! Moving on.
This film was an expanded project, originally a trailer featured in the Grindhouse film that Rodriguez and Tarantino released together.
The films opens with two cops chasing down baddies in Mexico; Machete being one of them, losing his partner in the ensuing car crash, a big fight ensues between Machete and the cartel men. Where Machete kills them all with a machete (who would have guessed that).
Then upon his capture his family is killed in front of him due to the Mexican mob (lead by Segal) being unable to buy his loyalty. Impending death awaits Machete, left to die in a burning building, but he somehow escapes…
So far, Machete is looking like taking on the role of a testosterone-filled anti-hero, whose lust for Vengeance against the Mexican drug cartels fills him with hate.
Though I knew how this film was destined to go down, I decided to continue on….
Several years later, Machete is an illegal living in the US and is offered millions of dollars to carry out a hit on a Senator. He takes the job, but is then framed for the Senator’s own demonic purposes. As he fights to prove his innocence and to bring down the corrupt-minded Senator, his past comes back to haunt him…. Yaadadada. So you get the idea.
In terms of the film’s story, it’s nothing new to me. Though the idea of the government controlling the flow of illegal immigrants across the border for cheap labour is a notion that I hadn’t ever thought of before. So kudos to the writers for that.
A rough and tough man who gets all the girls rings lots of bells.
Rodriguez has fun with the movie though, and I like that.
Some of the kills that Machete enjoys are brutally hilarious – including Trejo using a man’s intestine’s to abseil out of a hospital and stabbing a man through a door peephole – as well as some of the most corny lines in the most passionate of deliveries, like “God has Mercy, I don’t” spoken by a priest! Hahah
It almost seems like Rodriguez is taking the piss on purpose; which seems a better theory due to how Tarantino-esque the film seemed,
especially during the fights. The blood and gore shed during Machete’s fights gives off a real Tarantino feel. And the back-and-forth dialogue reminds me a little too much of early scenes of Pulp Fiction, and granted many films utilize that, it just kept me thinking of Pulp all the same.
What does bother me was Rodriguez’ choice of making every woman in the film want Machete in the sack. What the fuck? Sure enough, maybe one or two girls loving him and his bravery, but six is too much! Jesus!
The plot line is incredibly Ludacris and predictable; the fight scenes are pretty epic though! Something Rodriguez has always done well in his films is take something over-done and old and put new twists onto it to keep us guessing. I thought for that, Rodriguez is still a champ in my book. This is a great movie for a Friday night in, you’re not expecting much but still get more than you bargained for.
QUESTION! What’s your opinion of Rodriguez? Do you think he’s on par with Tarantino? Or is he a little more like an Aldi-version of the Pulp Fiction director?? I’m keen to hear some answers.
If you liked this review, I’ll be posting my opinion of the sequel Machete Kills (2013) soon!