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September 5, 2010
Review - " Machete "  -  (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Jeff Fahey,
Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson,
Lindsay Lohan.

Here are some things to consider before buying a ticket to “Machete:”

Robert De Niro, sporting a 10-gallon hat and Texas drawl, plays a
senator campaigning for reelection on a platform of sending illegal
border-crossers back to Mexico. Steven Seagal, lumbering and
bloated, plays a drug kingpin. Cheech Marin plays a less-than-holy
priest who keeps tapes of incriminating confessions made to him.
Lindsay Lohan plays most of her scenes either naked or in a nun’s

And 66-year-old Danny Trejo, in the title role of Machete, seeks to
take the mantle of top box-office action star with this goofy spoof. And
why not? With 64-year-old Sylvester Stallone finding a hit in “The
Expendables,” Trejo just may do it. It seems like a trend in the making.

“Machete” pays homage to the action-packed, sleazy drive-in fodder
of the 1960s. But with its bold mix of flat-out violence, playfulness,
social conscience and above-the-title stars having a great time
slumming, it’s unlike anything seen before. Well, at least not since
director Robert Rodriguez mixed blood and comic irony in “El
Mariachi,” “Desperado” and “Once Upon a Time in Mexico.” There are
so many severed limbs and spurting blood you'd swear you were
watching a Quentin Tarrentino film.
For all its outrageous excesses, “Machete” keeps the adrenalin pumping and the Laugh Meter going into overdrive.
Rodriguez and co-director Ethan Maniquis play their movie as much for laughs as for action. When Machete, so nicknamed
because of his weapon of choice, is being chased by murderous thugs and makes a fast exit through a hospital window
using, shall we say, “intestinal fortitude,” the directors send the plot roaring into Neverland and the audience just roaring
gleefully. One keeps wondering how they will top the nuttiness they just tossed at us, then they do it. Watch out! This is a
film in which someone knocking on the door of a house may find an axe coming through the unopened door to slice through
his head.

The film opens in slam-bang fashion as Machete, a Mexican federal policeman, smashes his way into the hideout of drug
czar Torrez (Seagal), taking out the man’s henchmen in head-rolling order. A quick pirouette and three – or is it four? –
heads are lopped off in an instant. (This opening sequence and the film’s credits have been purposefully scratched to make
it look as though the film had been run through the projector about 1,000 times, approximating the look of the scratchy prints
that were near the end of their runs when they hit the drive-ins decades ago.) But things go awry, Machete’s family is
murdered and he flees across the border to Texas, waiting for his chance to get revenge on Torrez and his mob.

Three years later and a nattily dressed businessman named Booth (Jeff Fahey) hires Machete off the streets to kill the
senator during one of his campaign-stop rants because “this state runs on illegal aliens” and he wants to keep their cheap
labor intact. But things go awry again and soon Machete is on the run once more, this time from both Booth’s killers and from
U.S. Immigration officer Sartana (Jessica Alba) who wants to capture him so she can get a promotion … at least until she
sees the merits of his cause and begins to feel for the plight of the illegals. He gets help from the pretty Luz (Michelle
Rodriguez) who runs an underground organization called “The Network” that gives assistance to illegals out of her burrito

It’s a wacky mix of situations and it gets even wackier the longer “Machete” goes on, as every seemingly loose end becomes
intertwined until sanity is stretched to the limit. Yet it’s done with such a free-spirited sense of fun (there’s an assassin who
advertises his services in a TV commercial where you’re encouraged to phone 1-800-HITMAN) that even the most grisly
parts of the film are up for laughs. You haven’t
lived until you’ve seen De Niro, his legs tied,
hop toward the camera like a bunny rabbit.

It’s over-the-top moviemaking, but it’s not for
the squeamish or for those who want a
literal bent to their movies. But if you want to
see Rodriguez and company push a story
to its mind-boggling edges and go for broke,
“Machete” is your movie. Who knows? Trejo
may even become the most unlikely action
movie star in this most unlikely action movie.

Even with Lohan's strategically placed long
blonde hair and sometimes obvious body
double you will most definitely
NOT have to  
walk out of Machete - Hell, even Jessica Alba
gets into the swing of things with a brief
shower scene