Someone just f**ked with the wrong Mexican in "Machete," and we are glad it's Danny Trejo. Why? Because Trejo is an unstoppable acting machine who, after spending time in San Quentin, has had a prolific career playing villains and badasses.
He's Hollywood's go-to man when your script requires a tough Mexican and, as director Robert Rodriguez said at the "Machete" premiere, he has a characteristic face that "you can rock climb on." Plus, the teaser trailer for "Machete" that accompanied the theatrical release of 2007's "Grindhouse" was the obvious choice to be made into a feature-length film, which is exactly what Rodriguez did.
Trejo, in his first leading role, plays an ex-Federale whose wife and daughter are killed by a powerful drug lord (Steven Seagal). Machete is left for dead, but he escapes to Texas. There he is offered a job to assassinate Senator McLaughlin (Robert De Niro), who is pushing a strict anti-immigration platform that equates illegals with cockroaches. Machete is set up by the same people that hired him so the media reports that an illegal immigrant tried to take out the senator.
Immigration officer Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba) tries to track down Machete but becomes more sympathetic to the plight of illegals the more she uncovers. Meanwhile, Machete has teamed up with revolutionary Luz (Michelle Rodriguez), who runs a taco truck, and Padre (Cheech Marin), a priest "who's good with blessings but better with guns." Together they try to bring down the corrupt senator, which culminates in an epic battle at a dusty base for border vigilantes.
"Machete" is violent, outrageous, sleazy and borderline offensive, and it knows it. You'll cheer as Machete guts a thug and uses his intestines to swing through a window or beds all the film's attractive ladies, including Lindsay Lohan—a socialite with an appetite for both action and destruction.
Hilarious deadpan lines like, "Machete don't text," which is what Trejo says when asked to correspond by cell phone, will help make Machete an unforgettable Latino anti-hero. The end credits promise more with "Machete Kills" and "Machete Kills Again," so here's to hoping that Rodriguez commits to creating a kickass trilogy for newly converted Mexploitation believers like us.
In Trejo, we trust.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain five deleted scenes and an "audience reaction track," the latter of which is great if you want to bring that theater vibe home.