Friday, September 3, 2010



Machete Can you imagine how much trouble they can make if directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino are put together? Definitely a lot. And it will be messy and bloody, because their films have remarkable resemblance when it comes to sex and violence. Just take a look at "Grindhouse" that they made together in 2007. Before that film(s), they showed a fake trailer to announce an upcoming movie called "Machete." Now, three years later, Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez expand that fake trailer into a bloody full feature "Machete" (USA 2010 | 105 min.). Right now, it is showing at 67th Venice Film Festival (out of competition) where Quentin Tarantino is the President of the Jury this year, and it opens on this Labor Day weekend to kick in more action and blood for the summer movie season.

The tattooed tough looking Mexican guy Machete (Danny Trejo) is used to be a federal agent. During a fight (what else?), his wife is killed by a drug lord Torrez (Steven Seagal). He escapes into hiding and finds small jobs just like many other illegal immigrant workers, helped by Shé (Michelle Rodriguez, and not to be confused with Che). While immigration agent Sartana (Jessica Alba) takes notice of Mechete, so does a businessman Booth (Jeff Fahey). Booth hires Mechete to assassinate Senator McLaughlin (Robert De Niro) who is running for reelection on a platform of getting tough on illegal Mexican immigrants, not in Arizona, but in Texas.

However, nothing goes according to plans. Mechete has to fight the enemy with the help from Father Padre Benito del Toro (Cheech Marin) and the network—illegal immigrant workers. During the struggle, "he gets the women and he kills the bad guys!"

Steven Seagal stars as Torrez in 20th Century Fox's Machete

Even you have seen plenty Japanese gore genre films (if not, just stop by Another Hole in the Head Film Festival in San Francisco next time), you will still be giggling when you see heads rolling on the floor, or nurses shooting machine guns in tiny tight skirt in this film. It is a typical exploitation film, but with cleverly written dialogues that refer to the current politics on immigration issues, and it turns pretty much everything into a comedy, without a limit.

The film is filled with quotable lines that are entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny. However, some jokes do not have to even include words—how can you keep a straight face when you see Lindsay Lohan in her scenes, with or without clothes, and speaking or muting?

Certainly, some of the characters are absurd and their behaviors are laughable. However, when you label the film as a B movie, Robert Rodriguez can have whatever fun he wants, and can get away with it. Meantime, he shows you what will happen if you "fucked with the wrong Mexican!"

"Machete" opens on Friday, September 3, 2010 at Bay Area theaters.

Danny Trejo weilding a machete is not hard to imagine, but he's so much better at being a villain than a hero. Just saying.
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