Warning, although I rarely ever have spoilers in my reviews, this one has some. Very few and really not very revealing, but they’re there just the same…
Danny Trejo has made a good career as a character actor. He’s appeared in many movies and TV shows, almost exclusively as a bad guy. This is probably because he’s scary looking. We’re talking a thick tree trunk of a man with a well worn face that even a mother might want to look away from.
Well in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete, Danny Trejo is finally the leading man. He plays the titular character. He’s a bad-ass, and somehow, an actor in his 60s (not that he looks it) is sucking face with the likes of Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, and Michelle Rodriguez (but her action is off-screen).
Machete was first seen as a “fake trailer” in the Rodriguez / Tarantino homage to 70’s exploitation flicks, Grindhouse. Apparently it was so popular, Rodriguez decided to make it into a full length movie, co-writing it with Alvaro Rodriguez and co-directing it with Ethan Maniquis.
This way over the top bloody crime drama tells the story as a Mexican federale known only as Machete who takes on a drug lord, played in a relatively subtle performance by Steven Seagal, in his native Mexico. Later he finds himself on American soil and is hired by a suit wearing Jeff Fahey to commit a crime for the future of America. It seems some Americans, led by Good Old Boys like Robert De Niro and Don Johnson, are up in arms over illegal immigrants, and they do whatever it takes to protect the border.
Eyes and limbs are lost. Gallons and gallons of blood are shed. A cell phone gets more action than I have in quite a while. And Lindsay Lohan gets naked.
All in all, it’s a good time.
Machete is not based on reality, and it will never be likened to Citizen Kane or Casablanca. But for a modern take on bloody 70’s action, it’s pretty much perfect.