Film & TV

"Machete" Is LOL Funny, Deadly Boring

Things you should know going in: Mexicans like hydraulics in their cars, and white people assume all Mexicans are janitors or gardeners. Created by Robert Rodriguez for Danny Trejo, Machete is a leather-faced, ex-Federale turned down-and-dirty hitman turned violent crusader on behalf of his fellow illegal immigrants. Machete is hired by slick operative Jeff Fahey to kill an anti-immigration senator, only to be "set up, double-crossed, and left for dead." Machete first appeared as a trailer in the movie Grindhouse, and Machete the movie stretches the narrative to 105 minutes, filling the extra space with PG-13 suggestions of sex, social satire, and star power. It's made with a laziness so overt it seems to be part of the joke, including an orgy scene in a pool featuring an uncredited blond playing the character played by Lindsay Lohan in other scenes. When Machete isn't laugh-out-loud funny, it's deadly boring. The best that can be said is that its makers are self-aware about its superficiality, and even nod to it in an exchange between Alba and Trejo in the final scene. "You can be a real person," she says. His response: "Why would I want to be a real person, when I'm already a myth?"

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Karina Longworth