Monday, 28 February 2011

Slice, Dice and Grindhouse

Cine Review: MACHETE
18 – 105mins – 2010
Written by: Robert Rodriguez and Álvaro Rodríguez
Directed by: Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal, Jeff Fahey, Lindsay Lohan, Tom Savini, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Shea Wingham, Daryl Sabara, Gilbert Trejo


Stretched out from the most bonkers (and thus intriguing) of the faux trailers sandwiched betwixt the infamous 2007 Rodriguez/Tarantino double feature extravaganza, Machete is – as expected – a preposterous but pleasing fanboy's love letter to trashy, bad taste 70’s B-movie cinema. But I guess you already knew that from the threesome in the swimming pool scene… *Bom chicka wah wah*

Clearly a pet project of Robert Rodriguez’s (he stepped down from directing duties on his Predators reboot, which was shooting simultaneously), Machete could all too easily have been one niche gamble too many after Grindhouse’s muted reception and multiplexes unanimous decision to separate the two entities spoiled the auteur’s illustrious endeavours. Yet this Danny Trejo vehicle (I never imagined I’d say that before!) is a wild n' spirited cheese fest which will always find an audience.

Incorporating all of the footage from the wacky teaser into an even wackier expanded storyline concerning Trejo’s aging vigilante ex-federale crusading against a racist senator’s (gamely hammed up by screen great De Niro) attempts to deport all Mexican immigrants, Machete is a no-holds-barred orgy of bangs, bullets, blades, boobs, banter, bribes, beddings, beheadings and bungled assassination attempts.

Old school genre fans will be whooping with delight at appearances from Cheech Nash Bridges Marin, Tom Dawn of the Dead Savini and B-movie legend Steven Seagal – Machete is essentially an even tackier spoof of The Expendables, so naturally the plot is completely superfluous next to the in-your-face action and relentless impropriety.

It’s a scratchy-screened, jumpily-edited comic book world where exposed intestines can be used as rope swings, burned baddies make thermometers overheat and the corrupt get their comeuppance while the hero always gets the girl, no matter how old he is and how smokin’ hot and waaaay out of his league she may be (Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Lohan and her screen mom – together!). Right, that's it, I’m off to draw permanent marker wrinkles on my face and grow a honking great handlebar moustache… *Bom chicka wah wah* indeed.

In a CR@B Shell: A mash-up of brash trash, but a whole heap of vulgar fun regardless. You’ll either “get” Machete or you’ll get mighty offended, either way you may require a stash of beer to make it through this criminally comical tongue-in-cheek actioner.

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