Machete (2010)

machete poster 2010 movie danny trejo robert deniro
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun over-the-top action with a lot of humor

Not for the squeamish in that there is a lot of blood and guts

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Machete

Studio:  Overnight Films

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Comedy

Release Date(s):  September 3, 2010

MPAA Rating:  R


Machete’s leading a revolution…and it starts now!!!

Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) is a Federal who made the wrong enemies.  When his wife is killed by the drug lord Rogelio Torrez (Steven Seagal), Machete is left for dead.  Resurfacing as a migrant worker in Texas, Machete finds himself drawn into a life of crime again when he is hired by Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey) to assassinate Senator John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro) who wants to construct a barrier wall between the U.S. and Mexico.  Machete is caught in a double cross and wanted by police when the assassination proves to be a set-up.  Now, Machete must team with an immigration officer named Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba) and the leader of the Mexican underground resistance Luz (Michelle Rodriguez) to stop McLaughlin, Booth, and his silent partners Von Jackson (Don Johnson) and Rogelio Torrez!


Isn’t ironic that I plan to kill Machete with a sword? Just want to point that out to you guys…

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, Machete sprung out of the fake trailer in Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s B-Movie homage Grindhouse (where Rodriguez even shot some of the stuff used in the film).  The movie was fairly well received and had high box office returns for its low production cost.

Machete is pure fun.  The movie takes action to the extreme and then adds a bit more action to it.  There are very few movies where an actor will take the guts from a henchman and use them as a rope to jump out of a window (which is intentionally explained in great detail before it happens).  It is cheesy, but it also is smart in that it knows the formula it is tweaking.


…and that the fence gets me in the end?

The Machete story is all over the place and it is intentionally over-the-top.  You have nuns with guns, nudity, and violence…all aspects of the grindhouse format that it is exploiting.  The story also dips into the race war and this also harkens back to old blaxploitation films of the ‘60s and ‘70s…and the changes the formula much like the changing culture of the United States.

Trejo also just owns the role.  Rodriguez created it for him and the convict turned actor seems to love being scary and intimidating.  The movie is also loaded with stars.  With De Niro, Seagal, Fahey, and Johnson as the primary enemies, the screentime is a bit limited on all parts.  Effects master Tom Savini stops by as an assassin named Osiris Amanpour, and you get Cheech Marin reprising his role from the trailer as Machete’s religious brother.  Trejo is torn between Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez who both struggle with acting but work here in mostly action roles.  A lot of press was made about Lindsay Lohan’s small role as Booth’s rebellious daughter, but she also has a quite minimal appearance.


I’m the nun with a gun!

Visually, Rodriguez also brings this over-the-top method to his shooting.  This isn’t uncommon for Rodriguez from the onset of his career with El Mariachi, but since he is intentionally shooting crazy, it is pushed even more to the limit.  The style worked a bit better with the Planet Terror portion of Grindhouse, but it still works here.

Robert Rodriguez always seems to have fun with his pictures and Machete is no exception.  The movie has a lot of energy and laughs with a production style that is intentionally lowered.  With a strong star and a ton of action Machete is a winner.  Machete is followed by Machete Kills in 2013.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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