Saturday, September 4, 2010

Machete (2010)

Appropriately crazy and over-the-top feature-length adaptation of the fake trailer (that's gotta be a first) revolving around a racist-killin' MexiCAN who gets framed, and, naturally, must seek revenge. The style of this Robert Rodriguez (co-written, co-produced, and co-directed) flick is strongly evocative of B-grade '90s action pictures, and not in the most obvious, corny ways; Rodriguez wants this to be able to play as a straight, gung-ho, fuck yeah Mexican action picture as well as a subversive nod to the conventions of the genre. The action is absurd, but horrifically comic, and it pleases the audience as well; the audience I saw it with hooted and hollered throughout. The cast is, mostly, a delight: aside from the badass Danny Trejo as the titular Machete, you have a mix of modern day eye candy (Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, and Lindsay Lohan) and older, '80s era stars (Jeff Fahey, Robert DeNiro, Don Johnson, and Steven Seagal) hamming it up and having a blast. Unfortunately, much of the script revolves around Alba's boring-sauce INS agent, and her scenes drag down the momentum of the film, but the rest of the cast (save for Lohan) picks up her pace, especially Seagal, who makes his first major villain turn a fresh, original turn from him (and it shows he has a sense of humor, which is nice). The stronger emphasis on humor here is what differentiates this from the recent action-flick homage, The Expendables, and it's also what makes this film a more memorable experience altogether.

Highly Recommended for fans of high action and/or the more harder-edged output of Robert Rodruiguez (i.e. Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn). The best thing I can say about this movie is that every shot that I remember from the trailer ended up the film, and I definitely didn't think that shit was possible; I once again think to myself that Rodriguez may be one of the smartest men in show-business right now.

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