EL PASO, Texas — Hot chicks, big guns, blood flowing, a few laughs and a big guy they call Machete, oh my! Can you expect any less from a Robert Rodriguez flick?
Rodriguez, a native Texan has been releasing his signature gritty, home-edited films since he began his film-directing career in 1991. The Mariachi brought notoriety and led to some of the most notable films today such as Desperado, From Dusk Til Dawn, and Sin City. In 2007, Rodriguez teamed up with Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth, and Rob Zombie to release a double feature Grindhouse type film, Planet Terror, and Death Proof. For those that watched the Grindhouse double feature in theatres, may have noted the spoof previews. One featured in particular was for Machete.
Machete was put into production, and released in theatres on September 3rd. The flick has an all star cast featuring Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Steven Segal, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, and Lindsey Lohan. In the starring role as Machete himself is the convicted felon turned actor, Danny Trejo. The 66 year-old Trejo is a common face in Rodriguez’s films.
A mainstay feature to any Rodriguez film is the backdrop of a dusty Texas town, with a pinch of grungy music as provided by Rodriguez’s band appropriately titled Chingon. Thus is the case in the setting of Machete. The themes of the drug situation in Mexico and what is happening politically in Arizona is heavily reflected. Machete’s (Danny Trejo) story begins in Mexico as a Federal. He is compelled to do the right thing and ends up being betrayed and witnesses his family being murdered by notorious drug king pin, Torrez (Steven Segal).
Blood sprays everywhere setting the tone for the rest of the movie. Machete becomes a vigilante on the quest for vengeance. He is a day laborer in the US, he is working to get through each day. He is hired to assassinate a racist senator (Robert De Niro). He comes to find that he was set up, adding more salt to his unhealed wounds. Not only is he noticed by Luz, the taco truck lady, he is also noticed by ICE agent Sartana (Jessica Alba). They team up to aid Machete to get his revenge, to expose corruption, and to prove to the bad guys that they messed with the wrong Mexican.
Machete did well overall in the opening weekend, taking the #3 spot in the box office. Trejo has come a long way in his career, climbing his way up to a starring role. We can definitely expect more from him in the future. The movie is filled with stereotypical views of Mexican people and culture, but it is meant to be humorous. In all, if you are craving a lot of blood and humor, this film is highly recommended.