A grindhouse homage that works as a grindhouse film up to the five minute mark, then it becomes a glossy Hollywood action movie. Not to say that it isn’t great, its fun. If you suspend your disbelief at seeing machine guns mounted on motorcycles, Machete (the main character) being flown into the air by an explosion and then whilst in the air shooting villains who are on the ground.
The story goes that Machete is a Mexican illegal immigrant in the US, along with many. Senator McLaughlin (played well by Robert De Niro) wants them out. So Booth, a shady character played by Jeff Fahey, sets him up to shoot the Senator. Well, after that, there’s a twist, but I won’t give it away. Chances are you might already know it.
It’s at heart an action movie more than the intended homage. Except for the sprouting shots of red, there isn’t that many key staples for what exploitation films are known for. The film Dear God No! is a much better example if you want a hard-edged exploitation homage. This simply deliver’s Robert Rodriguez’s penchant for over the top action and violence, but it does it well, and with a pinch of humour. There are also other references to classic films, for example, the last fight is situated in a Mad Max style desert land.
Machete, the character, doesn’t get to do much, other than lop of body parts and crack the odd one-liner, but he does it well, and certainly looks good in action. As for the other characters, they are obviously very card-board, with no character depth. The closest to character depth is De Niro’s Senator John McLaughlin and Jessica Alba’s cop. Other than that, it’s just action and bloody fights all the way up to the conclusion. If that’s your thing, then you’ll definitely enjoy this.