Carving a niche for immigration heroes.
If you really wanna be street cool, you’ll pronounce it ‘Ma-CHET-tay.’
The much-overlooked yet mustered Danny Trejo brings his battleground face to the title role of Robert Rodriguez‘s hilariously vicious MACHETE, the story of an ex-federale (code name: Machete) going undercover against illegal politicians against illegal immigrants. The hook is that Machete prefers as his weapons of choice – carving implements rather than guns and grenades; slicing and dicing, with scalpels, meat cleavers, axes, even skull scrapers and a corkscrew wine-opener.
You gotta love Rodriguez’s filmic signatures – MACHETE is loaded to the hacienda with that gratuitous Rodriguez gore and sex that fans await hungrily: naked women, beheadings, gunning down henchmen, burning down buildings – and even Steven Seagal… all before the opening credits.
Robert De Niro is John McLaughlin, a redneck politician (which would make him Republican – his name echoing a very infamous 2008 presidential contender) who enjoys keeping his country safe by patrolling the Mexican-American border with Don Johnson, and shooting illegals as they sneak across (a method that the infamous presidential contender would have loved to employ). Jeff Fahey is Booth, a businessman who wants McLaughlin dead for political reasons, so hires Machete to kill him. Treachery afoot as Booth tries to kill Machete as he’s trying to kill McLaughlin. (Isn’t it the same with all hitman assignments?) Booth is in the treacherous employ of “Mexican” godfather Rogelio Torrez (Steven Seagal, so out of shape here, he looks like one of those blow-up clowns that you can’t knock over. Oh, and let’s not forget he’s “Mexican.” Royt…).
Jessica Alba is an FBI agent, who looks like she gave up stripping just yesterday. She still desperately can’t act. And by that, I mean she should stick to stripping. She gives a cringeworthy Inspirational Speech standing on the roof of a car – all that’s missing is the stripper pole – and I haven’t been that embarrassed since that time I went to school with no pants on.
Michelle Rodriguez is undercover revolutionary Luz, who turns up for the final showdown in her battle gear, which is apparently a halter top and leather pants pulled so low we can almost see her bagina.
Lindsay Lohan is completely strung out on meth amphetamines. And in this movie, Lindsey Lohan is completely strung out on meth amphetamines; along with her slut MILF mother, she folds into a threeway with Machete – matter of fact, for someone trying to bring politician killers to justice, Machete somehow finds time to get it on with every beauty this side of Guadalajara, replete with 70s wocka-chicka music.
Rodriguez perennial Cheech Marin is Machete’s priest brother; and Tom Savini is golden as a professional hitman whose TV ads are like a Shamwow infomercial, “Do you like what you see? Then call 1-800-HITMAN.”
MACHETE is one of those films you’ve got to keep telling yourself not to take seriously. Danny Trejo’s deadpan avenger glare is the perfect vehicle to carry such outlandish black comedy. Yet the premise is a timely indictment of our racist era 2010, as redneck politicians like John McCain (“Finish the dang fence!”), Louie Gohmert (“Terror babies!”), Haley Barbour (“Amnesty is not an option!”), et al, grapple with the problem of railing against illegal immigration without letting their white hoods show, and LEGAL immigrants are getting grouped into second-class status for the color of their skin or the flavor of their religion.
It’s about time a Mexican superhero efficiently cleaned up the illegal immigration red tape. Unfortunately, the way this movie cleans up illegal immigration is not to help people do it legally, but to kill off all the politicians who are responsible for making it an issue.
It’s a start. Take note, John McCain, Louie Gohmert and Haley Barbour…