Robert Rodriguez’s Machete will, without a doubt, delight grindhouse fans and with every screening at the film festival sold out, is sure to be a box office success. Luckily, my trusty press pass guaranteed me a ticket and so I squeezed into the theatre at the last minute. The film follows Danny Trejo, ex-federale turned vigilante, on a mission of revenge and redemption using his sword fighting skills to slice and dice his way through the corrupt politicians (Robert De Niro) and mobsters (Steven Segal) of Mexico. The film’s all star cast brought wild applause, as well as many wolf whistles at Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez who became leather clad bad-ass babes on bikes.
Although the film was laughter dynamite, there was a political undercurrent throughout which gave a more serious note to the proceedings. Blowing up stereotypes of Mexicans to the extreme and exposing political tension over immigration laws, was done with over the top violence and side-splitting gags. Rodriguez claims that his film has created a new sub-genre of ‘Mex-ploitation’ cinema, providing a Mexican action hero and empowerment that people need to feel proud of their Mexican roots. The film’s explosive entertainment was greeted with wild applause, as was the hint at imagined sequels Machete Kills and Machete Kills Again.
At a press conference yesterday Alba gave the impression that the team had as much fun making Machete as it is watch, saying ‘making the film was a lot of laughs. I get to play a kick-ass chick! I mean, who doesn’t want to stab a guy in the eye with a stiletto!’. Indeed.