Machete, Machete, Machete. I knew what I was getting into with this one. I put myself in the frame of mind to enjoy the gore, the violence, the hot ladies, all of it. I was ready. Then I saw it. I was underwhelmed. The camp was there, but so was the border commentary. Though I support amnesty for all illegals and think most of our legislation on the subject is blatantly racist, I didn't need it delivered to me in this fashion. I would have enjoyed a little more subtlety. Of course, why would I expect subtlety from Robert Rodriguez? Overkill is his specialty. So I won't dock him points for that. Plus, there were parts of the movie that I really enjoyed. The performances were almost universally bad and the story was hackneyed and predictable but there was a spirit to the movie that I enjoyed which is where the real success of the movie lies. It's hard to see thinly veiled big screen versions of John McCain (Robert De Niro) and Joe Arpaio (Don Johnson) get their just desserts, Mexican blood bath style and not feel at least a little giddy on the inside.
After a series of silly and dull performances I'm starting to wonder if we've seen the last of Robert De Niro in relevant roles. He hasn't been worth watching since Jackie Brown, or I'll give you Ronin which had a sweet car chase, and that was ten years and 22 movies ago. He isn't alone though, Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson have been drowning in poor performance and worse movies for the same duration (Nicholson has fared a little better at least, since he was in the Departed but he was also in Anger Management). It was weird to see him get out acted by Jeff Fahey in this one. And while I love Danny Trejo as a character actor, I actually think he could handle weightier work, he wasn't able to carry the film. So while I liked certain aspects of the movie, in the end I feel like a joke movie trailer should probably just stay a joke movie trailer.