Of Man and Machete
Danny Trejo is finally getting a starring vehicle at the age of 66 in Machete by director Robert Rodriguez who happens to be a distant cousin. This may well be the only spoof trailer (from Deathproof) that actually made it to a full feature release. Trejo has a strong presence due to his unique look, which serves to tell a story of where he’s been in his life; a former criminal and drug-user, Trejo is a great reform success story. This look helps to solidify the character that is Machete.
Machete opens with the titular character, a member of the Mexican Federales, making an attempted rescue of a woman held by a drug kingpin played by Steven Seagal. Yes, that Steven Seagal. The opening scenes set the tone of ridiculous action, comedy and violence that fill the entire film. Machete is double-crossed from multiple sides leaving him broken, barely alive and driven by vengeance.
An All-star Cast
We then fast forward several years, and Machete is now in Texas. He is randomly drawn into a plot involving assassination and immigration issues along the border. Machete is again tricked and the quest for vengeance kicks into high gear when connections to his past adversaries are made clear. Robert De Niro, Jeff Fahey, Tom Savini and Don Johnson (hilariously given an “introducing” credit in the opening) join Seagal to round out the cast of bad guys.
Trejo is joined on the good guy side by Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and Cheech Marin as Machete‘s priest brother who gets to fully join in the action. All the big names, whether good guys or bad seem completely aware of the ridiculousness of the story they are involved in. This is what makes the movie work. Almost no one seems to be taking themselves seriously or trying too hard here. This is what I wanted from The Expendables, which although a decent film, could have really pushed the envelope with the cast it had.
Big Time Fun
This is pure action fun, so ridiculous you will laugh out loud, as Rodriguez intends you to do. I think his only folly here is the Lindsay Lohan role. It feels like he cast her just because he could. She doesn’t add anything to the film and could have easily been cut, thus shortening the runtime which felt just a tad too long. Overall though this movie deserves to do well as does Danny Trejo. He is often relegated to bit parts where he is killed off quickly, like inPredators, but he has a surprising range at times. Any fans of the man should check out the documentary on his life called Champion.
If you find yourself wanting more Trejo after this, have no fear. IMDB lists him, as having more than a dozen roles coming in the next year, and you can find his voice talents in the upcoming Fallout New Vegas in October. Machete is in wide release in theaters everywhere right now and is definitely worth the price of admission.
Machete – Homepage. 2010 Troublemaker Studios
IMDB – Internet Movie Database.