Machete begins with our titular hero, played by Danny Trejo, as one of two Federal agents driving to rescue a hot girl from the clutches of her kidnappers because she’s a witness against Rogelio Torrez (Steven Seagal), a drug kingpin who’s as evil as they come… and must spend a fortune in hair dye.
However, it doesn’t quite go to plan, leaving his partner riddled full of bullets and Machete stabbed in the balls. While he lies on the floor, writhing in agony, Torrez appears, revealing he’s also kidnapped our hero’s wife… who promptly loses her head to a samurai sword swipe.
Three years later and Machete is work on a labour site, where Mexicans are hired by the day for manual work. Enter Agent Sartana (Jessica Alba), an immigation agent on the US/Mexico border for ICE (Immigation and Customs Enforcement), investigating illegal aliens, starting with suspecting there’s an operation being run by taco truck girl Luz (Michelle Rodriguez). Just what are her connections with “The Network” and their defiance of the border patrol?
Meanwhile, there’s no-nonsense vigilante Von (Don Johnson), working with Texan Senator John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro), who’s running for re-election to office on a ticket of stamping out anyone illegal, and with rather underhand means. The copious cast is extended further with a mysterious man, Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey), who offers Machete $150k to kill off the Senator. What follows next is something you’ll have to find out for yourself, but it also includes Lindsay Lohan as April, Booth’s drug-addicted daughter, and she’ll appear later in a nude scene along with Alicia Marek who plays her Mum, June…
To say how things play out would definitely be a spoiler, but for me, this is such a lot of violent, over-the-top nonsense, and… it goes together perfectly! I love it!
At first you don’t know if it’s a film-within-a-film, given the spoof-like way it plays out with an intentionally scratchy picture quality during the opening scene I described above, but that soon disappears once we speed forward to the present day. Every member of the cast plays their part perfectly – including Cheech Marin as a local Padre and brother to Machete – and for a film with such a dumb presence and a whole heap of overacting, this really could’ve fallen flat but Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez capture the mood of the piece perfectly and you have a solid near-two-hours of entertainment.
Oh, and Jessica Alba also appears nude in the shower, at one point, but sadly with body positioned such that you can’t see her lady bumps or foo-foo.
Presented in the original 1.85:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, the picture is sharp and beautifully detailed. There’s close-ups aplenty on most of the cast’s faces and with the addition of the hot and seedy Mexican desert landscape, this Blu-ray disc gets many chances to show off the excellent quality of the mastering. It’s flawless. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 37″ Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, for which I got the 5.1 DTS version: Throw in gunshots, explosions, action scenes and dialogue in hushed, gruff tones on a liberal basis and you have a very engaging audio track here.
The extras, however, are not a lot to shout about. First up, is a series of Trailers and, oddly, rather than bring up a selection of separate trailers to click on, they all follow one into another which is incredibly irritating. First up is a general Sony Blu-ray trailer, then movie trailers for The Green Hornet, Faster, Priest and Rodriguez’s directorial debut, El Mariachi plus Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Erm… how about a trailer for Machete? Nope!
Next up comes eleven Deleted and extended Scenes (11:39), including one with Jessica Alba playin her own twin, which is a nice little addition but would add nothing to the plot if put back into the film. None of these are particularly crying out to be put back in, but I liked the cool style of the one with “The Hitmen”.
The extras are complete with an Audience Reaction track. Erm… what on earth is this? Just a canned crowd whooping and hollering like a BBC sitcom telling us where to laugh. Whoever thought up this one at Sony… just don’t! It’s the worst idea ever!
Apparently there are more extras on BD-Live but I never got this to work in the past. Just stick ’em on the disc and stop faffing about.
The menu features images from the film played out to the theme. There are subtitles in English, Arabic, Danish, Finnish, French, Hindi, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish. The total number of chapters is the usual 16 for Sony, so it could certainly do with a fair few more.
Running time: 92 minutes
Cat no: SBR70183
Released: March 2011
Region(s): 2, PAL
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Catalan (DD5.1 only)
Subtitles: English plus 8 other languages
Disc Format: BD50
Extras: Trailers, Deleted Scenes, Audience Reaction Track
Directors: Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez
Producers: Elizabeth Avellan, Robert Rodriguez and Rick Schwartz
Screenplay: Robert Rodriguez and Álvaro Rodríguez
Music: John Debney and Carl Thiel
Machete Cortez: Danny Trejo
Agent Sartana: Jessica Alba
Senator John McLaughlin: Robert De Niro
Rogelio Torrez: Steven Seagal
Luz: Michelle Rodriguez
Michael Booth: Jeff Fahey
Padre Cortez: Cheech Marin
Von Jackson: Don Johnson
Sniper: Shea Whigham
April Booth: Lindsay Lohan
June Booth: Alicia Marek
Osiris Amanpour: Tom Savini
Chica (Naked Girl): Mayra Leal
Machete’s Wife: Nina Leon
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.