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Review: Machete

Less is indeed more
By BRETT MICHEL  |  September 8, 2010
1.5 1.5 Stars


Which came first, the chicken or the egg? In the case of Machete, the Mexploitation picture directed by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis, it was the trailer, two-plus minutes of B-movie bliss that appeared in the failed 2007 double feature from Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, Grindhouse.

The (then fake) coming attraction introduced Machete (ex-con bit player Danny Trejo), a craggy, tattoo’d former federale who’d been “set up, double-crossed and left for dead!” Proving that less equals more, the feature-length expansion retains Jeff Fahey as plot instigator and Cheech Marin as a gun-toting padre while adding Jessica Alba as a customs agent, Michelle Rodriguez (no relation) as a freedom fighter, Steven Seagal as the drug lord who murdered Machete’s wife, and Robert De Niro (!) as a corrupt senator.

Alas, not even Lindsay Lohan — doing a cartoonish riff on her tabloid persona (is this even possible?) — can bring this rotten egg to a boil.

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