Friday, 3 December 2010

REVIEW: Machete

You'll soon have knives in your eyes.

I think the failure of Grindhouse was a good thing. It's one of the most self-indulgent films I've ever seen, and that includes a bunch of stuff made by french guys in the sixties. Both Death Proof and Planet Terror were homages to films no-one either had seen or cared about, but more importantly then that didn't have anywhere near enough of their own identity to justify themselves. It was two film-makers drunk on everyone telling them how awesome they are following that through to its most horrific inevitability. But good things came out of it. It drove Tarantino to make Inglourious Basterds, an emphatic step back in the right direction, and featuring one of if not the most dynamic character he ever created. It was worth the horror of Death Proof for that.

And Rodriguez? well obviously he made a film based on one of the mock trailers that interceded the two features within the film. Of course. I'm less behind the myth of this guy then most because if you take Sin City of his resume then its a fairly mediocre resume, particularly recently. Desperado remains one of those awesome cult-classic types, and I guess a few of you will tell me that From Dusk Till Dawn is great (Its not) but, otherwise you've got a slew of average kids films, The Faculty, Once Upon A Time In Mexico which would have been entirely shit without the presence of Johnny Depp, and Machete. Which is basically Desperado if you amp up the irony and intentional shitness, to be honest. I like Danny Trejo as much as anyone else, but this, well this is wasting everyone's time. Maybe die hard action fanatics will get something out of it, but frankly its been ruined as pure enjoyment fodder by Rodriguez' extremely ham-fisted political allegory about border-jumping, casting Jessica Alba in the most substantial role and having way too much cast. The movie moves through its bad guys like you wouldn't believe, going from Steven Seagal to Jeff Fahey to Don Johnson to Robert De Niro and back to Steven Seagal again. I'm tempted to say that Seagal does the best with what he's got but Robert De Niro is the only one who knows he's in a comedy and is quite funny.

But ultimately, that sense of pure, organic joy one can garner from watching shit movies like Machete portends to is precisely because they didn't do it on purpose. You can't replicate unintentional humour and if you try its juts going to fall flat. Like much of Machete does to be honest. Trejo deserves a better movie to be a badass in, and Rodriguez needs to stop fucking around. But its OK, because his next film is Spy Kids 4.

Rating: 4/10

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