IN 1992, independent filmmaker Robert Rodriguez released “El Mariachi” (production cost less than $US8000), fresh, with high energy, unabashed in its violence and erotic implications. Hollywood soon snapped him up to do more of the same.
In time, actor Danny Trejo, who describes himself as an ex-con turned icon, was cast as Machete, a soldier of fortune down Mexico way and along the US border. A personality more than an actor, he’s powerfully built, not quite but nearly as ugly as sin and Robert Rodriguez’s second cousin.
The US President commissions Machete to bring a crim from Mexico into the care of US authorities. That generates shootouts of massive proportions and little plot significance, spiced by eye-catching women on both sides of the good/bad divide as Rodriguez drives his plot down the highway of improbability to squillionaire megalomaniac military material manufacturer Voz (Mel Gibson, tongue firmly in cheek) whose machines beggar the imagination and whose morality got left behind long ago.
It’s loud, violent, unremitting in inflicting indignities and cruelty on the human body, rude in depicting the heart of the US Government (“West Wing”) fans might take cynical amusement from the casting of Charlie Sheen as the President). And it’s more than a little funny.
At Dendy and Hoyts