Machete (2010)

“We didn’t cross the border. The border crossed us.”

A few years after first releasing the mind-blowing fake trailer for Machete in theatres in the film Grindhouse (2007), Robert Rodriguez has finally given the masses what they’ve been craving – the most incredible action film they’ve seen in a long time. The film stars Danny Trejo as Machete – an ex-Federale who’s been betrayed by his previous employer, who set him up to be pursued by the big drug kingpin of the neighbourhood – Torrez (played by Steven Seagal). As a result, Machete’s wife and child are murdered forcing him to flee to Texas, and is now out for total retribution.

Trying to find employment as an illegal day worker, he is picked up one day and asked to perform a much different kind of task – to assassinate State Senator McLaughlin (played by Robert DeNiro), whose advocacy against illegal immigration has many people up in arms. But Machete soon learns that no one in this world is to be trusted – he has once again been set up to take the fall, and now he’s pissed. He enlists the help of a resistance fighter named Luz (played by Michelle Rodriguez), a federal agent named Sartana (Jessica Alba), and his good friend the Padre (Cheech Marin), who’s always ready to jump into the action with double shotguns roaring. 

Machete has as much heart as it does action. Amidst the gore and uber-violence that crowds the world over expect from such a master as Rodriguez, Machete softens under women’s touch, just long enough to slightly endear the character, before he dives into yet another frenzy of machete-slashing awesomeness. This movie was as fucking intense as the trailer, and packed with hilarious foul-mouthed one-liners, that only Rodriguez can deliver, like having the Padre quickly make a sign of the cross, “I absolve you of all your sins. Now get the fuck out.” And he didn’t skimp out on the plot for this one – it’s rife with substance, and really captures the social issues that reside on the border between the U.S. and Mexico without dumbing it down to a commercial level. It’s gritty, it’s raw and it’s shot and cut like a vintage flick. Lindsay Lohan doesn’t even piss me off in this one. It’s brilliant. 

Funnily enough, this wasn’t Machete’s first appearance in a feature – he also appeared in Rodriguez’s Spy Kids (2001) and it’s subsequent sequels. And this wasn’t the only fake trailer in Grindhouse to be made into a feature-length movie – they’re also going to make a full version of Hobo With A Shotgun and Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving. If they’re going to be anything like Machete, I can barely fucking contain myself.

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