Machete (2010)

[Viennale.]

Machete is the newest film by Robert Rodriguez, also directed by Ethan Maniquis and starring Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Robert De Niro, Cheech Marin, Jeff Fahey and Lindsay Lohan.

Plot:
Machete (Danny Trejo) is basically the last police man in Mexico, who’s not corrupt. The evil drug dealer Torrez (Steven Seagal) doesn’t take too kindly to this and Machete finds himself trapped while he has to watch how Torrez kills his family.
Years later, Machete is stranded in the US and tries to get by with day labor, rather unsuccessfully. But then he gets hired by Booth (Jeff Fahey) to shoot the right-right-right-wing senator MacLaughlin (Robert De Niro), who wants to build a great electrical fence between the US and Mexico. Machete takes the job – it’s not as if he has much choice about it anyway – and finds himself in yet another trap. But this time, he fights back.

Machete is pretty much all it’s cracked up to be: gory, entertaining, funny… in short, the perfect B-Movie with a pretty strong political message. At times, it’s a bit lengthy, but if you like this kind of cinema, it’s totally going to make your year.

I saw this movie at 1.15 am (they even started a little later than that, actually), in a cinema that was completely packed with people who apparently had been waiting for this film since Planet Terror. Which honestly has to be the best way to see it. There was screaming and whooping and laughing right from the start and the whole atmosphere just pulled you right into the film.

But the audience atmosphere wasn’t everything. Even if I had been all alone and watching the movie on my cell phone, I’d still would have enjoyed the film a lot.

The cast was really nice. Danny Trejo was great and it was pretty awesome to have the racial tables turned: for once, all the evil roles were filled by non-Latinos. Generally the political message was really strong and  nicely done (Robert De Niro, I’m looking at you especially).

Visually, it was great. In every scene you could see that it was carefully crafted to look completely trashy and it had its own coloring and aesthetics that were really nice. Some of the scenes didn’t really make sense, logically [like Lindsay Lohan in her nun costume] but they fit these asthetics too well to be left out of the film.

It had a nice sense of humor. The sex scenes alone were great comedy, with the same two chords of soft-porn music starting every time and Machete taking of his jacket… Awesome. [The whole soundtrack was good, as was to be expected, when Tito and Tarantula are involved.]

The only thing that wasn’t that great (which I might have to blame on my reduced capacity for concentration at 2am) was the pacing. The movie had some scenes in between where it dragged just the teensiest bit, where there was just too little action.

Summarising: Probably one of the must-see movies of the year.

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