I'll admit it, Machete isn't exactly a movie I was clamboring to the theaters to see. And not because, at least at one time, I was quite a fan of Robert Rodriguez. I think he's very talented, especially technically, but I think he's an artist guilty of pure genius in his early work... and people don't seem to recognize that sometimes, he's not quite so genius.
Machete is a full length film made because everyone enjoyed the fake trailer that ran during the Grindhouse collaboration in 2007. Okay, fair enough, lots of full length films get made because of a short or a trailer treatment, right? On the flipside, there are a lot of really amazing trailers out there that turn out to be really, REALLY terrible films. Like, A LOT. So perhaps a machete weilding ex-federale turned day laborer really isn't as coherent in full movie form. Perhaps.
And I really become a bit ill at the thought that anyone says that this film is some sort of political hot button about immigration. Please. That's like saying Planet Terror made an effectual and valuable statement about bioterrorism. (BTW, Planet Terror is a far superior film to Machete and Rodriguez should have quit while he was ahead in this genre because he did it so perfectly the first time).
Here's what went wrong. The acting is terrible. But it's supposed to be you say? Oh, okay, I'll allow that... I guess. But is the plot supposed to be BORING? If it's supposed to be ridiculous, aren't I supposed to laugh a lot? Shouldn't I care at least a little bit about the characters? It honestly felt like the entire movie was burning film towards a final battle that, in the end, was horribly anti-climactic. And the movie felt intentionally paced to fit in each of the shots from the original fake trailer. Ugh.
It wasn't all bad. I did laugh out loud, pretty hard, at least a few times. There were so many times where I knew I should have been laughing though, and I wasn't.
So Machete is set up to kill an over the top, horribly racist senator, but he's really being double crossed. The guy who hired him for the hit is actually the senator's campaign manager and this was an attempt to make Mexicans look bad. This really riles everyone up and an (epic? nope.) battle ensues between angry illegal immigrants who all tote machetes now, and the crazy racist people that try to shoot them at the border.
Look, lots of people seem to like this. I don't want to discourage your good B movie fun, but I think there are far superior choices. I give it 2 out of 5.