'Machete' Review: Blood, Gore & Politics

Sally Mercedes
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Robert Rodriguez MacheteThe '70s-style exploitation film Machete opens this weekend, and now we get to see Lindsay Lohan outside of court, jail, or rehab. We also get to see her share the screen with the likes of Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, and Danny Trejo.

Okay, maybe you don't know that last name because this is his first starring role. Based on the fake trailer that appeared with Grindhouse, Machete stars the 66-year-old actor in a bloody, violent, and -- hopefully -- funny film.

I've never really given this genre a chance, and the trailer didn't convince me. But I admit that the cast intrigues me, as does Michelle Rodriguez's reason for signing on: being in a movie with a Latino hero during a time as hostile as this. She probably didn't need to compare it to Obama being elected, but I appreciate her intention.

The question remains, though, how do the reviews for Machete play out? Let's take a look ...

Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Times:

If the idea is to capitalize on exploitative B flicks, consider the job done. But if the idea is to satirize them, to bring some cutting wit into the mix of blood and race and sex, then its blade is far too dull.

Luke Y. Thompson, E! Online:

[W]e find out why [Trejo's] mostly only been a character actor to date. Still, there's enough bloodshed and babe-itude here to satisfy the voracious viewer.

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel:

It’s all a gory goof [...] That makes it hard to take the “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us” pro-immigration message seriously. But if it makes people think twice about “messing with the wrong Mexican,” no doubt the “Machete” cast and crew will call that a win.

Claudia Puig, USA Today:

Machete is eccentric and playful, though not recommended for the squeamish or humorless.

They're not all convinced that this film gets it just right, but the reviews were generally positive. A lot of them characterize Machete as smart and surprisingly political, which sounds right up my alley. They all seem to agree it's a bit too long, but I'm seriously considering getting my butt to the theater, if only to satisfy my major girl-crush on Michelle.

Will you be watching Machete this weekend?

 

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