Danny Trejo can't act. Jessica Alba can't act. Michelle Rodriguez can't act. And it's not that they were supposed to be acting poorly for the sake of the film, I actually would have commended that, but you can kind of tell they were trying somewhat hard. And it only made them worse to have Robert DeNiro awesomely accept the role of the sleazy politician, I still can't believe he was in this movie, but I'm so happy he was. It looked like he was having fun with it, maybe he just wanted a place to try out his Texas accent? Steven Seagal was also a surprise hit in the film, not because he acted as well as DeNiro, oh no, he acted very poorly as expected, but his mere presence playing a mexican drug lord who knows martial arts was chuckle-worthy every time I saw him. And his final scene in the film produced probably the biggest laugh out of me. I didn't expect myself to be saying this, but I wish I could have seen much more Seagal, and much less Alba in Machete. On a side note, Lindsey Lohan was pretty interesting in her small role as well, I cant say I've seen a movie with her in it that I've actually liked until now.
The movie itself was cartoonishly brilliant, at times. It was definitely 15-20 minutes too long, there's no reason a movie like this should be 1 hour 45 minutes.. I feel like with Machete and Planet Terror, Robert Rodriguez doesn't know how to fully commit to the "grindhouse mentality". It was back and forth with Machete, at times I was saying "Oh, he gets it!", then it was followed by an "Oh, nevermind..." He should have either made it hilariously serious, or dragged it down even further and made it consistently, ridiculously bad (on purpose). But what we actually got in the end is probably the funniest movie any of us will see about immigration laws.
I'd say it's worth seeing if you are into the whole revival of the 1970s B-movie trend that's going on lately. It's just not the best entry of the mix. It didn't quite live up to the brilliance of the fake trailer it was originally based on. I'd suggest Death Proof, House of the Devil, or Black Dynamite over Machete. Those three films at least committed to the idea much better. I fully support the concept of making new films look intentionally bad to spoof/homage these movies of old. I mean not everyone should do it, and no one should make a career out of it, but it's cool to see filmmakers do it every once in a while.
But I think the Citizen Kane of this genre is about to come out later this year. This is 100% real. Rutger Hauer will soon be playing...
...Hobo With a Shotgun.
I'm unbearably excited to see this movie!
You may recall that Machete was one of the fake trailers that ran before the movie Grindhouse. I'm not sure that Rodriguez had even thought of it as a full-length feature when he made the trailer.
I look at the trailer for Hobo, and wonder if the movie can possibly live up to it. It may even have the "Snakes On A Plane" curse - so on the nose that the movie can't even live up to the TITLE.
For what it's worth, I freaking love Danny Trejo. Hard to believe that his first job was DUBBING an English voice for a Jackie Chan picture - but I've loved him since I first saw him in The Hidden, one of the all-time classics of "I'm PRETTY sure the filmmakers are in on the joke" cinema. Michael Nouri! Kyle MacLachlan! Claudia Christian! Clu Gallagher. DUDE, and Danny Trejo!