In one of his famous interviews, pro wrestler “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes said that there would “violence for the sake of violence” in his upcoming match with an arch rival.
The words of Big Dust, perfectly describe Robert Rodriguez’s latest film Machete. It’s violence for the sake of violence — bloody, amazing and completely self-aware violence.
Machete is another piece of classic Rodriguez cinema — a hyper-violent and hyper-real homage to the Z-Grade shoot ’em ups of the 70s and 80s that is completely aware of its own absurdity. It’s a big, loud, fun, piece of cinema that has extremely high rewatchability. It’s a great end of summer check-your stress-at-the-door-and-enjoy piece of violent “grindhouse”-style cinema.
The plot of Machete, which is as thin and far-fetched as they come, revolves around the most awesome killing machine ever created — Machete (Danny Trejo who amazingly out badasses himself here) who has been framed for the attempted assassination of an anti-immigration Texas senator (Robert DeNiro). The rest of the film is one big “badass gets revenge” film with Machete shooting, hacking and laying waste to all the bad guys.
Some have criticized the plot of Machete as being a very overtly Anti-American film. One could see the argument as the plot revolves around the construction of an electrified fence being constructed across the US/Mexico border. The bad guys (Americans) are totally for it while the good guys (Mexicans) are against it. And from that description one could surmise that Rodriguez is trying to make a statement with Machete.
Yet there’s one element of the film that I believe completely negates this notion. The the idea of fence is being pushed and funded by a Mexican drug lord who through this funding, will get sole access to the unguarded soft spots in the fence. Oh and that drug lord is played by Steven Seagal. Yes, Steven Seagal. His presence alone negates any sort of serious tone or statement that could be associated with Machete. And by the way, he’s amazing in this film. Amazing.
So supposed political themes aside, Machete is an absolute rock ‘n’ roller coaster of a film. It’s got such a great energy that you can’t help but get swept up in it. And the comedy that Rodriguez injects in the film makes Machete as much more enjoyable film — there are a plethora of laugh-out-loud moments, whether it be a ridiculous spot of violence or a well-placed sight gag.
So to quote AC/DC…if you want blood…you got it! And if you want fun at the movies…you got it!