Action movies are one of my not so secret guilty pleasures and I do not even feel so guilty since directors in the genre get recognition not only from audiences but also from critics, and the genre is celebrated at Cannes and becomes vehicle in expressing universal emotions and making political statements as any other respected cinema genre. Then Machete has Robert De Niro on the generic, yes it’s Robert De Niro AND Steven Seagal, but then the getting together of Robert De Niro and Steven Seagal should not seem that odd nowadays.




What is Machete about? Bad guys hire a retired Mexican cop to assassinate a Senator (despicable figure, by the way) in a border town in Texas, where illegal traffic or anything is the law in the absence of the rule of law. When he understands the plot literally in the last fraction of second and survives the tentative to assassinate the assassin, the former cop turns from a killing machine on the bad side into a killing machine on the good side. It is really hard to say where are in Machette directed by Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez the borders between action film and parody, between the tentative to make a political statement and the need to pace the screening time with corpses. It would not have counted too much if some kind of balance would have been kept, but this is not the case here, and the result is that any minute of the film is filled with pure violence or physical comedy gags, and anything else seems to be left aside.


(video source OfficialMacheteMovie)


The really good achievements of the film seem to be the ballet of the violence which works perfectly in a few scenes and the acting of Danny Trejo and Michelle Rodriguez who feel completely at ease in the extreme environment of the film. To say that De Niro is a miscast is an understatement, there may be reasons for him to act in this genre of films, but they escape me, excepting the obvious one, but if you are DeNiro you should be able to pick better. Overall Machete seems to be another victim of the bloody Southern border.