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.