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Review

Film uses cliched action to amuse

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September 17, 2010

I’ve wanted to be a movie reviewer since I was about 10 or 11 years old. I’ve just always really dug movies and even had myself a little camera at one time that I used to make my own epics (mostly starring my friends, my dog, and/or characters from my Star Wars Lego set). So after applying to The Student Voice on a whim and actually getting a shot to fulfill a decade-long dream to publish my opinion about the beauty, wonder and joy that is brought into the world by the film industry, I of course set out to find the most awesomely bad movie I could.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Dude, ‘The Expendables’ is playing in town, right now!”, and while that was the front-runner for my first review, I happened to come across the title “Machete” while browsing show times at the Hudson Theater. Intrigued, I did a bit of research and my mind was made up. While “The Expendables” may boast the most comprehensive lineup of “B” and former “A” list action stars since ever, I’m afraid that with a cast including Don Johnson, Lindsay Lohan (yeah), Steven Seagal, Cheech, Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez and one of the “Spy Kids,” plus director/writer Robert Rodriguez behind the scenes, “Machete” was aching to take the action movie genre to whole new levels of ridiculous, and it delivered.

“Machete” tells the story of “Machete”, a wronged ex-Federale played by the evermenacing and all-around bad-ass mother fucker, Danny Trejo. After being betrayed by his boss, watching Steven Seagal (as evil drug lord “Torres”) murder his wife, and seeing some chick pull a cell phone from her vagina, “Machete” decides to get out of Mexico and spend his life as a day laborer in the states. Unfortunately, our hero simply can’t seem to avoid trouble (or as Jessica Alba’s character, Immigration Officer “Sartana” puts it, “You’re a shit magnet!”) as he gets pulled into a corrupt politician’s plan to take control of the Mexican/American border.

Robert Rodriguez sticks to his M.O. with this one, throwing around gratuitous and often absurd instances of violence (Machete rappels down the side of a building using some guy’s intestines), hilariously cheesy dialogue (“I just got a text from Machete” “What does it say?” “It says you fucked with the wrong Mexican!”), and wall to wall beautiful and butt-ass-naked women who have absolutely no business being anywhere near such butt-ass-ugly men. The thing that saves this movie from being one giant face palm is that the goal was clearly to be INTENTIONALLY over the top. From the cartoonish deaths to the funk music that pipes in whenever a hottie straddles Machete to the casting of Lindsay Lohan (who more or less plays herself), “Machete” never tries to be a serious film and it never is. While there may or may not be certain commentary on the illegal immigration issue, don’t show up to this one expecting anything much deeper than blood, explosions and soft-core porn. In fact, you’ll basically get the gist of the entire movie in the couple minutes before the opening credits even start. So if you’re looking for some simple Plot-less, character development-less, and intentionally overacted, but still action-packed, sexy and fun. I’d watch it again, though I may want to have a “Mexican Cigar” before I do.

Anthony Orlando is a math major and physics minor. He runs for the UW-River Falls cross country team. He once met Dan Auerbach and is a minor celebrity in Malaysia.