Where "The Expendables" and "Piranha 3-D" failed, "Machete" succeeds. For those that read my reviews on those previous films mentioned, then you should know that I didn't really care for either one of them particularly well. Sure, "The Expendables" had some promise, but the story was a complete piece of crap, with uninteresting characters that seemed generically the freaking same. Where as "Machete" not only put together a colorful group of unlikely characters together, it also had a great story that carried a lot of humor to it. It was almost like watching a Quentin Tarantino movie that invoked both humor and violence that meshed so well, you can't help but feel entertained by it. Of Course, the film was downright silly sometimes, as it poked fun at some of the typical action spaghetti western style of films, but it was still fun and enjoyable to watch without over emphasizing the camp humor. Something that "Piranha 3-D" failed to do, as they went way overboard on the use of camp humor.
The film essentially follows a Mexican Federale, Machete (Danny Trejo), who is set up by his former boss, and now he seeks revenge against all those that wronged him. Along the way, unraveling a conspiracy that could undo the very fabric of American society, as he soon discovers his set up runs deeper than he could have imagined. As the scandal he uncovers could not only affect the future of illegal immigration, but it could expose a scandal in which a U.S. Senator and the Drug Cartel might be in league with each other. Whether your for or against illegal immigrants in the United States, this movie carries a strong pro illegal immigration rights theme to it. While making those that are against it, seem like petty racist hypocrites. However, that's not to say that this film is overly preachy about illegal immigration rights. No, this film is just one pure spaghetti western action film that's just a non stop adrenaline rush.
The humor of this film is extremely funny to say the least. Ranging from either the subtle "tongue and cheek humor", with the villainous Booth (Jeff Fahey) admitting to having the hots for his teenage daughter April (Lindsay Lohan), to watching Cheech Marin (Padr) play a bad a** priest with a rifle. Padr may have taken an oath to the lord, but he's not scared to blow a guy's brains out either. Even the extreme cartoon like violence makes the film highly interesting and entertaining. Although some fans might turned off by the gore and violence, but it's done in such a comical way it doesn't come off as vulgar at all.
Which brings us to the action sequences. Sure, it can range from the fairly ridiculous to the damn near freaking impossible like "The Expendables" and "The A-Team." However, unlike those movies where the action sequences were mere tools to make up for lack of a great story. In "Machete", it's just the opposite. The action sequences do nothing but enhance the story element of this film, with each action scene playing a key role in the movie. Sure, most of the action scenes were hardly realistic, but it didn't have to be. As the movie hardly takes itself too seriously throughout most of the film, where you can just have fun watching it. Plus, the story was highly intriguing and filled with various subplots like She (Michelle Rodriguez), trying to fund her underground network to help illegal immigrants find jobs and supports their families in the United States. This along with the various colorful cast of characters made this film highly entertaining.
The chemistry between Jessica Alba, Danny Trejo and Michelle Rodriguez is too hard to ignore. Both Jessica and Michelle pull off just right amount of sexiness to go with their tough as nails attitude, that instantly captures the viewer's attention. While Danny Trejo pulls off the bad a** machete wielding vigilante to perfection.
Even the villains were great as Danny Fahey and Steven Seagal were both hilarious in this film. Sure, they were the bad guys and you had to hate them, but they were so funny that you couldn't help but love their characters. Which is quite a compliment from me, as I often think of Steven Seagal as possibly the worst actor of all time. Mainly, due to his lack of emotion and expressionless face during his movies but in "Machete", where the movie hardly takes itself seriously, his performance comes rather comical and blends in perfectly with the movie's surrealistic action spaghetti western style. To think I'm complimenting Steven Seagal now because of this film. Wow, I thought I'd never live to see that day, but it seems Robert Rodriguez finally figured out a role that even Steven Seagal couldn't royally screw up.
I could literally talk all day about how great this film was, but I think everyone gets the point by now. "Machete" is hands down on the year's best action films, and earns a solid rating of three and a half out of four. The extreme uses of violence might turn people off from this, as well the pro illegal immigration theme. However, it's definitely one high octane film that'll get your blood pumping, and making you beg for more. "Machete" definitely kills as a quality film. Sorry for the pun, but you get the point...