Mon. May 16th, 2022

The summer movie season generally contains fun action and big explosions. With that in mind, “Machete” puts an emphatic exclamation point on the summer season.The film follows Machete, a former Mexican federalé who, after being betrayed and nearly killed by his crooked peers and an evil drug kingpin, played with gusto by Steven Seagal, illegally moves to America to escape his past.

Once in America, Machete gets hired to assassinate controversial Senator McLaughlin, comically portrayed by Robert DeNiro, only to be double crossed. The film’s final hour consists of Machete attempting to clear his name and earn rights for Mexican immigrants with help from a variety of places, ranging from I.C.E. agent Jessica Alba to underground leader Michelle Rodriguez. Words cannot do justice to the film’s outrageously over-the-top climax and it must be seen to be believed.

The film, which originally appeared as a fake trailer between the films contained in the Grindhouse double feature in 2007, is directed by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis and stars veteran actor Danny Trejo, who has been in films ranging from “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” to “The Devil’s Rejects,” in his first starring role. Trejo performs admirably, although the eclectic supporting cast really drives the movie.

The supporting cast includes Oscar-winning DeNiro, Seagal, Lindsay Lohan, Don Johnson and Jeff Fahey. However, Cheech Marin steals every scene he is featured in as Machete’s brother, who went into hiding following Machete’s betrayal by entering the priesthood.

Rodriguez has made several previous attempts at the B-movie genre, including “From Dusk Til Dawn” and “Planet Terror” much like those films, Machete features gratuitous, comic book violence. Unlike his previous entries, however, Rodriguez includes relevant social commentary into “Machete”.

The plot of the film is driven by illegal immigration and the treatment of Mexicans who come into the country illegally. Rodriguez, who is of Mexican descent, clearly does not agree with the United States’ treatment of illegal immigrants and showcases that opinion by making the film’s antagonists gun-toting, crooked politicians who aim to end immigration permanently.

Machete features gratuitous violence and several offensive scenes. However, the film manages to succeed despite that due to the fact that the director clearly had no intention of making a serious film. All the offensive imagery is cartoon-like in its presentation.

With that being said, “Machete” is certainly not for everyone. Those who are easily offended will not enjoy this film, nor will those who do not have an appreciation for the cheesy, B-movie genre. Fans of Rodriguez and the B-movie genre will thoroughly enjoy the film.

Anthony Fioriglio is a journalism practicum major abd can be reached at AF650463@wcupa.edu.

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