Film, Action and adventure
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
With its Mexican anti-hero Machete (Danny Trejo), its choreographed violence and its crude sexism, this gleefully excessive pastiche of an exploitation picture delivers everything promised by its own faux trailer. That trailer was part of the fake ‘Coming Attractions’ section of co-director Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Grindhouse’ double-bill; this indulgent fanboy vanity project is that cheapskate drive-in movie made real.

So if your idea of a nostalgic good time is a nonstop action-movie featuring a tight-lipped Mexican day-worker (Trejo) turned vigilante killer, a sleazeball Mexican drug lord (Steven Seagal), an opportunist Texan politician (Robert De Niro), his corrupt behind-the-scenes fixer (Jeff Fahey), a racist businessman (Don Johnson), a chilli-hot female immigration agent (Jessica Alba), a fiery freedom fighter who runs a taco stand (Michelle Rodriguez), a gun-toting padre (Cheech Marin) and an avenging angel in a nun’s outfit (Lindsay Lohan), this will toast your enchilada. The problem is that the overcooked plot tries to shoehorn in a political subtext about illegal ‘wetbacks’ and right-wing politicians and businessmen who exploit the racist backlash they incite.

If you can take Rodriguez’s blood-spattered cartoon violence, half-baked politics and adolescently gratuitous nudity, there are some guilty pleasures to be had. Not least the sight of the crater-faced, heavily tattooed character actor Trejo in his first leading role – at the age of 66. He favours machetes, but Trejo’s exiled ex-cop tries to right wrongs – and avenge the murder of his wife and daughter – with just about any weapon, household object, gardening tool or surgical instrument that comes to hand.

By: Nigel Floyd



Release details

Release date:
Friday November 26 2010
105 mins

Cast and crew

Ethan Maniquis, Robert Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez
Jessica Alba
Robert De Niro
Jeff Fahey
Lindsay Lohan
Steven Seagal
Cheech Marin
Danny Trejo
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