Machete stars Danny Trejo (Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn), Jessica Alba (Dark Angel, Sin City) and Michelle Rodriquez (Fast and Furious, LOST), Robert Dinero, Cheech Marin, Jeff Fahey, Steven Segal, and Don Johnson. At least two of those names should pop out at you and make you wonder did they really cast them and where they good. Don Johnson was spot on and that was mostly due to the fact that he was fully engulfed by his character and did not make you that “hey thats Don Johnson playing a hypocritical racist”. Steven Segal on the other hand was Steven Segal trying to come across as a Mexican drug lord. He did not pull it off. All his lines were delivered in typical Segal fashion and it really distracted from the movie. Whenever he was on screen (which was a lot) he drug down everyone and it did not help that he was using a Samuri sword for every fight (i’m hoping it was his choice and not Rodriquez’s directoral choice).
Michelle Rodriquez and Jessica Alba on the other hand were suprisingly good at the roles they played. Rodriquez played the underground rebel leader who worked out of a taco truck in at a day laborer station. Alba was the immigration agent trying to out Rodriquez. I had some gripes about the insanely high stilleto (but also gorgeous) heels that she wore while out trying to track down the rebels. My gripes ended however when Alba used one of those fabulously pointy shoes to kill a guy….pure genius! Machete comes to town after his family is murdered by Segal in Mexico. He was a federale but now he is a day laborer like all the other illegal immigrants. He thinks he is flying under the radar, but is immeidiately hired to kill a senator by Fehay. Things go wrong in the way they usually do in these movies and Machete is on the run. Rodriquez pulls him in and explains her rebel cause. Machete doesn’t want to be a hero but he does want some revenge. We get some great action with his machete of course, and a weed eater that will have you laughing out loud.
Things are going along smoothly at this point, things are not even hurt by Lindsey Lohan’s first appearance (all though the irony will not be lost on you all that her first scene finds her passed out in a meth house, ahh forshadowing). Then we get off track. Machete and Rodriquez have some sexy time, but not anything that we see its all implied, then Machete is hit on my Alba still not that bad, then Machete does a full on porn in a pool with Lohan and her on-screen mother. Granted we don’t get directly to sex on screen, but you will see enough of Lohans breasts and lolling tounge to last you a hundred life times (if you believe in reincarnation, don’t see this movie because the image will follow you!). Its a distraction and seems to really slow the movie down. Plus, Lohan is not even a little bit believable when she dresses up like the nun and breaks out her gun. She is definately the odd man out in the whole movie, but especially in the final scene where she takes center stage.
Things pick back up nicely for the finale, lots of gun fights, lots of blood, and lots of action. Everyone gets there story wrapped up nicely, I won’t tell you who Machete rides off into the sunset with (stradling him on his motorcycle no less!) but it did kind of suprise me. Despite its weaknesses (cough, cough–Lohan and Segal) the movie is a nice tounge in cheek editorial on illegal immigration. Make sure you play close attention to a speech one of the security goons gives about day laborers, its brilliant. Overall, its not all it could be, some scenes or actors could have been taken out completely and not have changed the story, but it is everything you need. There is not a better movie to close out the “summer movie season” on.
Machete gets 3 out of 5 gun toting nurses.