The camera pans through the kitchen, and lingers for a moment on a corkscrew that rests on the countertop. And when that happens, you know you’re going to be seeing the corkscrew again. Sure enough, within minutes it’s sticking out of a bad guy’s eye.
And that is just one of the many glories of “Machete,” which gives new meaning to the term “over the top.” It’s gory, it’s disgusting, it’s sacrilegious, and it just might be the most entertaining movie of the year. It’s also very funny, but not in the traditional sense. You find yourself laughing at the absurdity of it all, and right at the moment when you think things can’t get any more absurd, directors Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis just ratchet things a little tighter.
If there’s a trashy B-Movie cliché that Rodriguez and Maniquis have left out of “Machete,” I’m not sure what it is. You’ve got your evil druglord (Steven Seagal, of all people, looking quite porky these days), you’ve got your evil politician (Robert DeNiro, obviously having a great time), you’ve got your evil henchman (Jeff Fahey, evil oozing from every pore), you’ve got your tough-talking female federal agent (Jessica Alba, wearing stiletto heels that come in handy even when they’re not on her feet)…you’ve even got Don Johnson (whatever the hell happened to Don Johnson?) as a lunatic border defender. Oh yeah, and you’ve got Michele Rodriguez as the tough chick with a heart of gold, and you’ve got nurses in mini-skirts and high heels, and you’ve got Cheech Marin as a gun-toting priest, and...
…you’ve got Danny Trejo as “Machete,” a former federale who has an affinity for sharp weapons. Trejo is not the kind of guy that you picture as a leading man, unless, that is, your leading man is the kind of guy who likes to wield a 4-foot long machete and doesn’t hesitate to use it when the occasion demands. Trejo is a man of few words (“Machete don’t text” may be his best line in the entire movie), but there’s character etched in all those lines on his face, and his Machete is, above all, a man of honor.
The whole thing is crazy, but in this case that’s not a bad thing. After all, it’s not every movie that began life as a fake trailer.