In a year of movies from video games, books, plays, SNL sketches, TV shows, remakes and reboots it’s no surprise to hear that Machete came from a fake trailer. Originally conceived as a comedic bit in between the feature films of Grindhouse, the Machete trailer told the story of a ruthless Mexican, played by Danny Trejo, who was framed and is now seeking vengeance.
Lines like “You just f****ed with the wrong Mexican” and having Cheech Martin as a shotgun-toting priest made the two minute video a real treat. Writer/director Robert Rodriguez proved his grindhouse humor with Planet Terror so all should have been smooth sailing for the feature length version of Machete.
Trejo, Martin, and Jeff Fahey are all back and they replicate the shots from the original trailer that was made years ago. New to the party are Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Don Johnson, Lindsay Lohan, Steven Seagal and Robert DeNiro. All of them are fun to watch but they don’t have much to do.
There is plenty of the violent madness that is expected where Machete destroys all that comes in his way. There isn’t enough of it, though. The plot appears to be a bit complicated, but the audience is always several minutes before the characters.
As much as we’ve praised Trejo on this site, he can’t seem to headline a movie. Subplots continue to override his plotline and he just seems uncomfortable in this role. I would much rather have a movie starring Fahey, a criminally underrated actor.
A lot of the actors bring something beyond what is written for them. DeNiro is having a lot of fun being a hardcore right-wing politician and Lohan may not know she’s being filmed. Nobody is winking at the camera and the films sincerity separates this apart from other spoofs. In fact, Machete doesn’t want to be a parody of the grindhouse films but just wants to be part of the gang.
Like other films of its niche, it rambles about its political issues and it has at least one character with an eye patch. There’s just not enough there to make this a memorable film. There are no characters to attach to, just actors, and the awesome moments are too far apart.
Films like this should be treated like a comedy. There needs to be fun moments evenly paced throughout the film. Relying it on the actors who are saying flat lines creates for too many dull parts. This was a similar problem to Piranha 3D, which wasn’t as visually rich as Machete but a tad more exciting. If only we could edit this film down to just the most interesting shots and dialog……
Original Grindhouse Trailer
Machete (2010) Green-Band Trailer