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Faux trailer comes to life as comic thriller ‘Machete’

How does he do it? How does Robert Rodriguez present an audience with such absurd stories and cartoonish situations and make such fantastic films? I have no clue, but he continues his unblemished record with the release of “Machete.”
Based on the popular fake trailer from the Rodriguez/Tarantino collaborative gore fest “Grindhouse,” “Machete” is the story of a Federale (played with near-silent grit by Rodriguez regular Danny Trejo) who, after the heartless murder of his wife and daughter at the hands of an evil druglord, Torrez (Steven Seagal), goes renegade and begins working day jobs in Texas.
After being offered a job to assassinate a corrupt Senator (Robert DeNiro) by a shady businessman (Jeff Fahey), Machete is double-crossed and left for dead.
He survives, however, vowing vengeance and getting caught up in a revolution led by a sexy Taco stand owner (Michelle Rodriguez) and slowly falling for a beautiful Immigrations Officer (Jessica Alba) along the way.
Robert Rodriguez has made his mark in Hollywood by helming both over-the-top, hyper-violent action films and family friendly entertainment. It goes without saying that “Machete” falls in the former category.
It is an incredibly violent film; decapitations and disembowelments are shown in full detail, and there is even a sequence of a character getting crucified.
However, this violence is so cartoonish and unrealistic that the audience is left chuckling in shock instead of gagging in disgust. Nudity abounds, but as this is supposed to be an exploitation film, this is to be expected.
What is unexpected, however, is that underneath the gore and nudity, Robert Rodriguez brings in a (not-so-subtle) message about America’s bigotry towards the people who make up its backbone.
Helping to relay that message, and of course bring in the blood and boobs, are excellent performances by each cast member. Danny Trejo, his face like a rough leather jacket, is both tough and tender as the title character, the only man who could bring a knife to a gunfight and win.
Michelle Rodriguez is sexier than ever and really shows her acting chops as the revolutionary patriot.
Jeff Fahey, a brilliant character actor, is fun to watch as the slimy businessman, and Robert DeNiro is a lot of fun as well as the fraudulent Senator.
A very pleasant surprise comes in the form of a great performance from Jessica Alba, who proves that under the right circumstances that she can be much more than a gorgeous face and body.
Steven Seagal surprises too with his tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the film’s main villain, and it’s no doubt the audience will have a tough time not enjoying the presence of Lindsay Lohan, parodying herself as Jeff Fahey’s drug-addled daughter.
If you were a fan of “Grindhouse,” this movie will NOT disappoint. It is a purposefully cheesy ride, providing everything that the fans want and making sure everyone knows that it’s not to be taken very seriously.
Prepare your stomachs, rest your brains, and enjoy.

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