Robert Rodriguez has established himself as a highly respected director since the 1992 release of El Mariachi. Sin City and Planet Terror grossed millions worldwide and his early productions From Dusk Til Dawn and The Faculty have gone on to become cult classics. It is no surprise therefore that a massive buzz was created when Rodriguez decided to turn his Grindhouse intermission into a feature length movie.
After drafting out an initial plot, Rodriguez turned to Danny Trejo to resume the title role and set out to fill the cast with as many familiar faces as possible. Like his production partner Quentin Tarantino, Rodriquez loves to mix Hollywood A-listers with actors in the twilight of their careers. Machete therefore features the likes of Robert De Niro and Jessica Alba alongside Steven Seagal and Don Johnson. On paper it looks like a winning combo but I’m afraid on this occasion Robert Rodriguez has fallen off his pedestal.
Danny Trejo and Michelle Rodriquez are relatively solid performers and Jeff Fahey continues his recent resurgence by stealing every scene he features in. Unfortunately the casting of Steven Seagal and Lindsay Lohan do very little to assist the film. Like many action fans, I love Seagal classics like Nico and Marked for Death but there is a reason why he hasn’t appeared on the big screen for sometime. The fact is he is getting too old to perform the martial arts that used to disguise his awful acting abilities. Rodriquez has done him no favours by casting him as a Mexican kingpin because Seagal’s attempt at speaking the lingo would be better suited to The Kremlin.
Seagal is not the worst thing about this film though, that accolade goes to Hollywood wild child Lindsay Lohan. Every time she appears on screen it is virtually impossible not to laugh at her. The film of course relies on the black humour laced through it. However, Lohan looks so alarmingly out of place it is unreal and what makes this extra surprising is the fact that to an extent she is playing herself.
I have seen some bad films in my time and I will be forever haunted by Johnny Was and The Day The Earth Stood Still. Machete is perhaps not as bad as these utter turkeys but it will take something extra special to prevent a 2010 Razzie being presented to Robert Rodriquez and Lindsay Lohan. All in all, a very promising short movie has been developed into one of the worst films in recent memory.
Image by cmjcool via Flickr