Machete (2010)

directed by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis
with: Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Robert DeNiro, Steven Seagal, Lindsay Lohan, Tom Savini, Cheech Marin, and Don Johnson

In a similar fashion to Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds, Machete is violent, humorous, witty and extremely entertaining; touching the themes of revenge, justice, glory, and morality vs. law, inviting the audience to be part of the epic moments.

Rodriguez dares to mock american pop culture as much as possible and with the help of a perfect cast, it works brilliantly. All the problems and issues that the US is facing today are presented in the film, wrapped nicely and ready to explode. The crooked politicians and their alliance with mexican drug lords to increase profit. The never-ending illegal immigrants issue. The hypocrisy of politics and their self-interest, in contrast to the über-patriotic, friendly content of ad campaigns that communicate a false image, a façade that people blindly support. The fact that people are so interested and influenced by the life of celebs; drug-addicted and controversial, purposefully using online videos to gain attention. The assumption that most mexicans are illegal, easy to manipulate and ignorant. So the "negative" sides of the US are exposed, as the profit-driven, celebrity-addicted, ad-reliable, gun-loving, power-seeking, control-freak country.

All in all, Machete is plainly honest and filled with guts, extremely funny and not to be taken seriously.  It's not meant to be insulting or demeaning and that's why both Americans and Mexicans can love it, uniting them peacefully in the theatre to witness this so-called 'war' with a laugh and a dose of adrenaline, accompanied with music by Chingon; cathartic. However, I don't think Machete is for everyone, because of the precise Mexican-American cultural inclusions and the sense of humor used.

Even though the idea of Trejo as Machete was conceived back in 1993, it came out with perfect timing. Rodriguez says he wants to make of Trejo/Machete (age 66) a Mexican Steven Seagal, with plans for many more features to come in the future.

Highly recommended.
Rating: 9


Anonymous said...

i dont know if the film recognizes the fact the drougs in the USA is a health problem but a big market, and on the mexican side its the dispute of roads to that market. Because of that reason there is a war in Mexico and therefore selling Hi tech guns from the USA to Mexico is also a vey profitable business.

Bob Clapes said...

Yes. The movie exposes the hidden parts of the mexican-american relationship and contrasts it with the american mainstream perception of both cultures.