Day Fourteen: Machete (MotM 2020)

machete cover

I’m not even going to provide a witty introduction this time. My old review’s introduction is all the set-up one needs.

I shit you not, this is how I started my review for this film when I watched it roughly eight years ago:

Lindsay Lohan plays the perfect character in this movie: a whore.

At the time, my idol was Roger Ebert. Was truly playing to my strengths.

Additional thoughts are as follows:

What I wonder is, that Machete (Danny Trejo) seems to go into any car whenever someone says “Get in”, why? is he that trusting? Another thing is when he faces his nemesis near the end (Steven Seagal) why does no one else help him? is it really that important to give Machete his pride of avenging his family’s deaths?

machete 1
Me, looking to assassinate former me.

Way to get the point, old me. Logic above everything, or else it’s nonsense. And because I am an enormous narcissist, I decided to end it the way I began:

I recommend this movie to anyone who likes bloody, mindless fight scenes or wants to see Lindsay Lohan act like a whore.

I gave this an 8/10 at the time. I guess I really enjoy Lindsay Lohan as a whore.

Now, this was long ago, far before anything I said was credible. Frankly, I’m not sure I can take anything I say seriously before the age of 22 or so. Luckily, I had a hunch giving this a rating so high, as despite some grievances that boil my SJW blood, this was a really chaotic, cheesy mess of blood that those who find that enjoyable will adore. That was something I did not get wrong.

machete 2
Michelle Rodriguez operates a taco truck with no ulterior motives.

The special effects are occasionally hilarious, the acting is subpar, the characterization is somewhat lacking, but the political subtext is fascinating. Constantly throwing itself at the mercy of whichever “evil” it decides to embellish. Racism, sexism, religion, politics, power; there’s a bit of a satirical smirk this film embodies that tends to exploit the simplistic nature humanity tends to put onto these concepts. Constant spewing of “wetback” and girls falling all over Machete, with one eventually taking up priestess garbs and participating in battle. Charming in a sort of apathetic way.

What issues arise with this is how comfortable the audience is with indulging in this type of schlock without believing the film is doing so for its own sake. Having its cake and eating it, too, so they say. It’s one thing to parody the machismo action hero that has women falling over them, it’s another to simply do it with a sly wink. This is generally brainless action, though some scenes suggest it knows more than it lets on, but does that make such portrayal okay? With some, sure. With others (treatment of women), not so much for me.

My rating for this may seem like a steep drop, but know that I was rather amused all the way through. It has that sort of amateur charm that many Godzilla films also have, and I cannot stop watching those. (On that note, I think I’ll watch a Godzilla film tomorrow.) Gory action bits (with very little censorship) and an honorable (enough) lead make this worth watching. Still torn on whether it’s worth remembering.

Final Score: 5.5/10

The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.

For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!

Thank you for your time. Have a great day.

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