Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Machete Review: A Long, Hard and Cold Federale

Robert Rodriguez latest movie, based on a trailer created for The Grindhouse cinema, Machete is a bloody-revenge filled adventure. The story takes place in the state-capitol Texas, which goes unnamed, where a day laborer is thrown into a mixture of politics, corruption, and law. Machete quickly realizes that the state of law and order in the United States of America is just as corrupted as the United States of Mexico.

Aided by a conflicted ICE agent Jessica Alba, an aspiring revolutionary in Michelle Rodriguez and a Father-Priest-Brother in Cheech Marin -- Danny Trujo's Machete plays a one-liner dealer of death and vengeance. There is an a unique underlying context that Robert Rodriguez bashes throughout the movie when a subtle approach would be ineffective. It is as the director/creator wants to convey a great message but limits himself to his own art. Machete doesn't differ too much from Rodriguez's previous works, as El Mariachi, Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Planet Terror, all share similar film qualities.

There is a strong conviction for an argument that if Robert Rodriguez were to take the subject matter in a differing approach, Machete could be his Departed -- a movie of betrayals, violence and honor. The topics are on the forefront with Arizona's controversial immigration law, the never-ending drug war violence in Mexican border cities and the cultural conflicts at home (role of the Church, Mexican-Americans, etcetera). These topics were handled in a campy manner.

And it is these topics, the film moves away from halfway through the plot, only to catwalk these characters. "Look at the cool conflicted character I just made." A pseudo-Border Promises with the film only to tie a picture perfect ending. But do not confuse the character Machete as a misanthrope, he ultimately seeks to do right at the belief that evil must not reign. Leaving the viewer satisfied, but left wondering when will a director handle these topics much seriously.

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