'Machete' (UK Release: 28 March '11)
Words: Jake Tobin
When I saw 'Machete' in the cinema it what the most fun I’ve ever had watching a film; funny, action packed and it could quite possibly be the filmification of “awesome”. However, it has its problems: it objectifies women, has very little moral conscience and if taken on face value could easily be one of the most offensive films ever. What I’m trying to say is that it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, or maybe a mine full.
'Machete' is every thirteen year old boy’s dream film, it has an all star cast (most significantly Robert De Niro and Steven Seagal in supporting roles), plenty of over the top action sequences, an abundance of female nudity and as much grotesque violence as you are likely to see outside of torture porn.
At its heart 'Machete' is an homage to the exploitation films of the sixties and seventies, much like 'Grindhouse' the 2007 double feature by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino from which the idea for 'Machete' was born.
The problem with 'Machete' is that it is a film which draws a very definite line between its detractors and those who enjoy it. As I said before it is a thirteen year old boy’s dream film, and because of that anyone who has ever been a thirteen year old boy will probably enjoy it a lot, but at the same time it is a pacifist-feminist’s worst nightmare. Because of this it is very hard to discuss objectively, or to watch without taking one of those two sides.
Aside from a moral view, 'Machete' is an incredibly fun film to watch and as an action movie it is so entertaining that any issue can easily be overlooked for the sheer audacity of the film. It somehow manages to be both ridiculously comic (the intestines....) and disgustingly horrific at the same time.
No matter what you expect your opinion of the film to be, it is worth watching, but you should probably have a think about how it can be viewed afterwards, just in case you ever have to talk about it to someone who doesn’t have the same point of view as you.
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Robert DeNiro
Purchase 'Machete' on DVD or Blu-Ray at Amazon.co.uk.