Movie Review: Machete (2010)
“If you’re going to hire Machete to kill the bad guy, you better make damn sure the bad guy isn’t you!”
Director: Ethan Maniquis, Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro
Synopsis: A hit man betrayed by the client who hired him to assassinate a Texas senator seeks revenge.
When you see a grizzled cop crush a police mobile radio receiver in his fist in the first minute of a movie and then proceed to indiscriminately behead a dozen or more hapless bad guys with a machete you know you’re not about to see a work of art. And when a film refuses to take itself seriously, it’s pointless for you the viewer to try and do so. This is wilful, self-conscious trash – a blood and guts (lots of blood, lots of guts) piece of bravura trash movie-making that stands or falls on whether it can maintain its breathlessly violent pace for its entire running time.
Unfortunately – and inevitably – Robert Rodriguez’s homage to the exploitation flicks of the 1970s falls short long before the end credits roll. The film runs out of ideas too quickly, and you’re left with the impression that what you’re watching should be a whole lot more fun than it actually is. It’s a feeling that’s also provoked by Desperado, Rodriguez’s breakthrough film in which Antonio Banderas shot his way through an entire town of bad guys. That film’s trailer made the film look like it would be something special, but the final product just didn’t cut it. It’s nice to see Danny Trejo (Heat, Cyborg X) grab a starring role for a change, though – and any movie that manages to squeeze Robert De Niro (American Hustle, The Intern) and Steven Seagal into the same cast has to be one of a kind…
(Reviewed 9th December 2011)