Sean's Review of Machete
I have always been, and will always be an avid supporter of Grindhouse. Seeing that film in the theater was one of my favorite cinematic experiences, and the fake trailers were a big part of that. I remember hearing Robert Rodriguez talk about filming the fake trailer for Machete. He said it was great because he was able to come up with the most awesome scenes imaginable and film them without having to worry about the boring connective scenes in between. Now he has saddled himself with the responsibility of worrying about those boring scenes, and the result is a pretty messy film.
The cast is insane, but none of them really shine. Danny Trejo is always an enjoyable presence on screen, but he isn't given enough to do, and the movie keeps getting hijacked from him to focus on less interesting side characters. The action is pretty mediocre, and even the few standout acts of violence can't compare to those of other, similar movies, including Planet Terror. There are times when Rodriguez clearly wants to up the stakes, and add to or top what he did in the trailer, but these new bits just feel kind of lame, and lack the spark of what he did before. The religious elements fell particularly flat.
The worst part is that it so clearly feels like some sad, leftover residue of Grindhouse. Had it gone straight to DVD, as was originally intended, it would have been fine, but on the big screen, it just can't live up. The best parts are all things we've seen before, and they were better in the trailer. I don't hate it, but I was pretty bored, and there is no real reason to see it, at least not in a theater. Machete is the same kind of movie as Piranha 3D, but whereas Piranha excelled, and was the best it could possibly be, Machete just settles for the bare minimum, resulting in bland, forgettable, mediocre crap.