Even though it’s politically biased, very violent, and nobody on screen laughs, Machete is this year’s violent comedy, although not as funny as Tropic Thunder, which was last year’s.
Written (with Ásvaro Rodriguez) and directed (with Ethan Maniquis) by Robert Rodriguez, Machete (Danny Trejo) is a vicious-looking Hispanic who talks in a monotone but is not an hombre to cross.
Robert Rodriguez is not of the Quentin Tarantino school that requires that every gross detail of onscreen mayhem be shown. Things like knives going into bodies and heads exploding are not seen. All the graphic stuff is pretty much left to the viewers’ imaginations. I say “pretty much” because in the end one of the characters vivisects himself and then twists the knife to make sure it does its work.
The downside of the movie is the silly political point of view. This is a film that is squarely on the side of illegal immigrants. Stacking the decks, Robert Rodriguez creates a politician who opposes allowing illegal immigrants to enter the United States and remain as bloodthirsty thugs and cold-blooded murderers.
That politician who leads the bad guys is Robert De Niro. Joining him are Jeff Fahey, Steven Seagal and Don Johnson. I’m not sure what Johnson was doing there but I was pretty sure he was a bad guy, despite his wonderful smile. Along for comic relief is Cheech Marin, as Machete’s brother, who plays a priest who doesn’t seem too concerned with being priestly.
There are a couple of pretty Latinas, including Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez, who add to the scenery, but the real draw along the lines of female pulchritude is a stark naked Lindsay Lohan, who plays Fahey’s wild daughter.
The movie is entertaining and the multitudinous delicious views of Lohan sans clothes should make it more than palatable for most men even without the violence.