New Movies -
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Old Movies -
Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena
The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry
Recap: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012
Machete (Robert Rodriguez | Ethan Maniquis, 2010)
For its first hour, Machete really gives hope that the concept, which started as a three minute trailer that was part of the 2007 double-feature Grindhouse, could be sustained for an entire feature film. Too many expository scenes, which introduce a cast that is probably too big by half, recycle the same hoary plot, however. While this verbosity may be the stuff of the B-movies that inspired Machete, there is too much of it for the homage to be construed as anything other than a liability. As Machete heads into its second hour, the bloat begins to drain the sense of fun, until the film climaxes with an extended action scene that offers next to none of the intended excitement.
If Machete peaks early, then, it must be acknowledged that it does reach peaks. Among the film’s highlights are some gross body humor (such a cell phone retrieved from a vagina and an intestine-enabled escape plan), some canny casting (Jessica Alba and Robert DeNiro, in particular, are used to better effect than either has managed in some time), and Trejo’s grim deadpan (“Machete don’t text.”). Though the film is designed so one can’t discern Rodriguez’s slips from his homages, the unevenness does eventually begin to grow tiresome. Still, if Rodriguez’s true aspiration was to pay homage to a group of B-movies that have been largely forgotten with a modern day action flick that itself will end up largely forgotten, he has likely succeeded.