Here’s, in brief, on how my rating system worked. I firmly believed that expectation before heading to a certain film is a bad thing to have. Most of the time, well, every single time, having an expectation will always ended in disappointment. But it’s inevitable and therefore I had decided to embraced it instead although out of habit, always setting the bar low. Therefore, usually, I had based my ratings on expectations. Good enough with respect to prior expectation, two and a half stars. Exceeded my expectation with good all around aspects, three stars. Three stars criteria with a mind-blowing aspect or two, three and a half stars. At the other end, flailing off for a bit from expectation, but enough redeeming quality, two stars, and so forth.
This film is a two stars.
Danny Trejo is “Machete.” And he’s angry. Confronted and set-up by corrupt politicians (Robert De Niro, Jeff Fahey), trigger-happy border authorities (Don Johnson), and a bit of a bloody past with Mexican drug kingpin (Steven Seagal), he with more than an ample help from (among others) characters played by Michele Rodriguez, and Jessica Alba wreaked havoc in the streets and paint the city red as bodies castrated and piled, intestines spilled out of the window (literally) and bullets and steel alike flew in whichever direction.
The film’s intention is I think, pretty clear. Bred from a fake trailer within Rodriguez/Tarantino “Grindhouse,” the film’s minimal apprehension toward the minimal plot devices it should had, and given up mostly to make way for a ridiculous but fun R-rated set pieces is understandably intentional. To a certain extent it worked out pretty good. Well, as long as Jessica Alba wasn’t concerned, if I may add. And this is exactly what would one expect from a film that obviously, marketed as such. However, sometimes, the film took a bit of wandering off with an intention to preach about the issue it tries to conveys. Illegal immigrations. Further, it does seems to me that the film tries to shamelessly get us to side with “Machete.”
Of course, not that it matters. I went to “Machete” expecting a tent pole of exploitation flicks that even if I’m not claiming myself as an expert at such, usually involves, among others, A) generous amount of red liquid sprayings, B) various methods of human’s life disposals, C) interesting, although not necessarily ‘accepted’ in a sense of normalcy characters, D) gratuitous nudity, and E) intentionally terrible one liners. Story? Characters? For all I know, they could all take an open ended vacation in the most remotest place on Earth and they won’t be missed.
“Machete” is a fun flick given you can stomach the amounts of absurdity that it has (in terms of cringe inducing banters or Jessica Alba’s motivational speech). Although, it should be noted that, well, surprisingly, the amounts of gore were relatively tame. I should further said that it was way better had you watched this film on all its non-trimmed glory. However, as one who had always loved a more ‘serious’ tone in films, sometimes, the film’s effort to add more weight on its characters and stories ebbed the fun that the film should have. Thus, my two stars.
My rating: **/**** – Expect a fun flick but also prepares for Jessica Alba. Sorry to say but she’s as out from her elements as she could be and watching her was the sole torture I had with this film. The same could be said on Lindsay Lohan although thankfully, her scenes were short. The other characters held themselves amiably although Robert De Niro, oh my, how was this once a greatest actor ever lived broke into such shambles? At the very least, his fake commercial segments were hilarious.