After having sat through the enjoyable but mind-numbingly violent Machete, I've come up with a new movie category: bloodbath porn. From the very first scene in this Robert Rodriguez homage to 70s action films, Machete has a body count that I can't recall seeing an equal of since the Rambo series. Not into decapitation? Then this probably isn't the film for you.
Machete is played by scary-looking character actor Danny Trejo, whose entire career seems to be made up of playing tough Latino hoodlums, including the recent Rodriguez action thriller Predators (see my review of Predators). In this film, he's a machete-wielding Federale who starts out trying to free a girl from evil druglord Torrez (Steven Seagal). He slaughters at least a dozen bad guys but is ultimately betrayed and left for dead after watching Torrez kill his wife in cold blood.
Three years later, it's a Texas border town and the story changes to Senator McLaughlin (Robert De Niro) running for re-election on a Draconian anti-immigration platform. His cynical media manipulation plan includes hiring a Mexican day laborer to hurt, but not kill him. It proceeds until they unwittingly tap Machete to play assassin. He decides to fight back against the system and predictable mayhem ensues.
Meanwhile, seemingly innocent taco-truck operator Luz (Michelle Rodriguez), secretly runs a sort of underground railroad for illegal aliens called "Operation Network", while skeptical immigration officer Sartana (Jessica Alba) keeps a close eye on things while she tries to crack the secret group.
All the storyline is but an excuse to propel Machete from massacre to massacre, and some of the scenes are so silly that it's hard not to laugh and just enjoy the mayhem. Bloodbath porn. Not your cup of tea? Then you won't like Machete and should skip it.