Better than the Real Thing: Machete

In the first twenty minutes of watching Machete I couldn’t believe that I had missed out on this movie in theatres. Deliciously over-the-top violence with Danny Trejo slicing through the heads of numerous thugs like butter, Steven Seagal as a scenery-chewing villain, and a naked woman who conjures a cellphone seemingly from nowhere? This is what grindhouse tributes should be like: pure fun.

But as the film continued, the awesome sight of Trejo being the ultimate Mexican badass becomes dulled as the movie continues to pile on sequences that upstage the last. Trejo slices a man’s arm off? Now watch as he fights another man while eating his breakfast! Trejo beds a woman? Now watch has he beds two…at the same time! Trejo taking on an entire army of bad guys with a machete not enough? Watch as he places a machine gun on a motorcycle and rains fire from the sky!

It’s cheesy, it’s awesome, but it’s a little too much. I find that if a film constantly bombards the audience with the same thing – whether it be thrilling action sequences, a car chase, or hand-to-hand kung fu battling – it tends to become monotonous, however exciting it is supposed to be. I had the same problem with The Matrix Reloaded, which had a plot that seemed to exist as an excuse for transporting Keanu Reeves from one fight scene to the next (the worst scene in my opinion was when Keanu is visiting The Oracle and her buddy Seraph has an impromptu fight scene with him to make sure that he is “The One.” He ends the scene with the most regrettable line in recent memory: “You never know someone until you fight them.” Plus The Matrix Reloaded was contractually obliged to have 50% more action than the first.)

Machete is a solid Saturday matinee (with beers, of course). Just know that when Machete kills his 100th assailant by slicing through his body, the gag gets a little tired. Check out the fake trailer below that inspired the creation of the film and watch the first twenty minutes of the movie, that’s enough to enjoy it.


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