REVIEW: Machete

15 08 2011

I live in Texas, and in case you haven’t looked at a globe in your life, it’s the state situated along the border of Mexico.  With America being so great and all (cue up the NSFW national anthem), people have been pouring over that border for safety and prosperity.  Many do this legally; many don’t.  Those that favor the latter option tend to cause big problems in my great state.

I’ve spoken with the second highest ranking man in the Texas Rangers about this problem; it’s serious.  It endangers not only our economy but brings much of the conflict that is ravaging Mexico into our country.  I’ve met Governor – and now Presidential candidate – Rick Perry and heard him articulate his plan on how to secure our borders; if his plan doesn’t have you convinced that something needs to be done, I don’t know what will.

Meanwhile, Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete” is totally and blissfully on the other side of that debate.  (He wouldn’t have made “Shorts” if he couldn’t be.)  Playing with the exploitation film style that he and pal Quentin Tarantino are so fascinated by, his film farcically and irreverently takes on border control and immigration like a live-action, full-length “South Park” episode.  It’s hardline message is hardly something I agree with, as it – whether seriously or not – promotes an almost Marxist revolutionary uprising of a Mexican proletariat.  But if you can get past that, it’s wickedly gory fun.

The movie stars Danny Trejo as Machete, a stone-cold former Federale turned illegal immigrant who kills and maims with the weapon in his name.  After being framed for the attempted murder of a state senator (Robert DeNiro in yet another career-staining role), he joins the underworld of illegal immigrants led by She (Michelle Rodriguez) to rebel against the Americans who view them as parasitic maggots, all while romancing and converting an Immigration officer (Jessica Alba) to their side.  Because they didn’t cross the border, THE BORDER CROSSED THEM!

So put your politics aside, your maturity at bay, and your squeamishness to rest for “Machete,” a rip-roaring Mexploitation film that brings a great deal of violently cartoonish laughter your way.  It shamelessly is what it is – that is to say, it’s ridiculous.  From the message to such profound quotables like “Machete don’t text,” Robert Rodriguez was having a whole lot of fun … and we get to share in quite a bit of it.  I don’t know if this is necessarily worth him polluting the world with yet another “Spy Kids” movie, though.  B / 

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