Based on a fake trailer made for his and Quentin Tarantino's uneven Grindhouse experiment, Machete
manages to look like everything you could ask for in an exploitation
film without actually capturing any of the feel of the real deal.
story is certainly trashy enough, as machete-wielding Mexican Federale
(Danny Trejo) sees his family killed in front of him by an evil drug
lord (Steven Seagal).
He then turns up three years later as a
day labourer in a Texan border town where the forces of
immigrant-bashing evil (a vigilante-leading Don Johnson, Robert DeNiro
as a crooked senator) are up against "the network", an organisation
helping Mexicans cross the border and led by a taco-shack owner
Machete gets hired to kill DeNiro's
senator as part of a re-election scheme, only when he's betrayed it
turns out Machete is hard to kill - unlike pretty much everyone he goes
It sounds like it should work and certainly
individual scenes are over-the-top in all manner of enjoyable and
entertaining ways. Having Machete get it on with every woman he comes
across to the accompaniment of a sexy bass line never gets old.
importantly, most of the many machete-based executions are laughably
excessive - as are most of the scenery chewing performances, though
Seagal's "Mexican" accent deserves special acknowledgment.
But the film never really works.
to shoe-horn in every one of the moments from the original trailer
makes many of them seem rushed and flat, while the plot is both overly
complicated and underdone emotionally.
Even the trashiest
exploitation films gave you a reason to care about what was going on:
for all the blood splashed about on screen, this remains a
disappointingly lifeless affair.
DVD Special Features
One of the most inventive Special Features I've seen in a while -
included here is an Audience Reaction Track. It's exactly what you
think it is, and surprisingly entertaining!
Conclusion - Movie: 80% Extras: 60%