Friday, September 3, 2010


Guest Blogger Liz Parker is back from an advance screening of "Machete".  

Was it bloody good or bloody awful? Let's see what Liz thinks...

First of all, this screening was at 5pm, which was a little early. From the trailer I could see it would be a "slice 'n dice" movie but it had a pretty good cast, so I decided to go see it. Lindsay Lohan, Steven Seagal, Cheech, and Don Johnson, I could see why you were in this project - you needed the money, I get it - but the rest of you? DeNiro, Jessica Alba? You could have much better than joining this cast.

Machete (Danny Trejo, "Predators") is hired by Booth (Jeff Fahey, TV's "Lost") to kill the infamous Senator McLaughlin (Robert DeNiro, "Everybody's Fine"), who has taken a hard stance against illegal immigration in his bid for re-election. What Machete doesn't know, however, is that Booth actually works for McLaughlin, and is trying to generate publicity for him. Meanwhile, Immigrations officer Sartana (Jessica Alba, "Valentine's Day") has been tracking the immigrants in the area for a while and notices Machete, since he is a new face in town. She soon realizes that he is a part of the shooting of McLaughlin (or so she thinks) and she goes to find him, not knowing that he has been played and was not actually the shooter.

This movie was super bloody (hello, the title is "Machete") which I was prepared for, but I didn't know the extent that the gruesomeness would go until I watched it - heads roll, people are eviscerated, and other body parts are chopped off. Parts of the movie were strangely funny, and I'm not sure if they were supposed to be or not - McLaughlin's TV commercials for his campaign being one of them - and I think "Machete" was trying to go for humor in some scenes. Cheech Marin ("The Perfect Game") definitely steals the show as a priest and also Machete's brother, and although I enjoyed seeing him and Don Johnson ("When in Rome") together in the same show/movie again, Don didn't really contribute much in his role as one of McLaughlin's cronies. Lindsay Lohan ("Labor Pains") pops up as Booth's daughter, which was a surprise to me because I didn't know she was in this film, and her scenes are sporadic and don't really add much to the movie either. Other supporting actors include Steven Seagal ("Born to Raise Hell"), who plays Torrez, an evil dictator, and Michelle Rodriguez (TV's "Lost") as a Mexican former revolutionary who helps others cross the border.

No, don't see this movie. Even without taking the excessive bloodshed into account, the plot has tons of holes and is all over the place. There is rampant nudity and swearing (as to be expected from an R-rated movie), and the ending was kind of baffling to me. Interestingly, at the very end of the movie, words came up on the screen that said Machete will be back in "Machete Kills" and "Machete Kills Again," which is unusual - they don't usually tell you about sequels this far ahead of time. Maybe "Machete" was just not my cup of tea, but needless to say, I won't be seeing the sequels, even if they are offered at a free screening.

Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films

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