Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -4

Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriquez, Steven Segal. Lindsey Lohan. Action/adventure. Written by Robert Rodriguez. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis.

FILM SYNOPSIS. Danny Trejo stars in the title role as a Mexican ex-Federale (with a gift for wielding a blade) who turns the tables on the people who double-crossed him. The film was taken from an unusual concept: Grindhouse, the 2007 film comic tribute to drive-in theater B-movies, included fake promos for upcoming films. From one of those phony film trailers sprang Machete, a film that also parodies B-rated biker movies. Machete is a Mexican up against right-wing conservatives who will do anything to keep illegal aliens out of the country. Well, the tables are turning, as Hispanics fight back against white vigilantes.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I must confess, I enjoyed the silliness of Grindhouse, though I couldn’t recommend it due to the R-content. Same goes for Machete, a spoof of films like Billy Jack and all those American International biker flicks. I laughed at its excess. Nothing is to be taken seriously. At least I don’t think so. But since many involved in the production have expressed their displeasure with any attempt to keep out illegal immigrants, maybe they thought this was a “message” film, a comic satire that addresses the subject of amnesty much like Dr. Strangelove aimed its comedy against war. For me, however, it was hard to take anything seriously.

Sadly, I can’t recommend Machete because of its excesses. Thought the violence is played for laughs, there’s so much of it; and even though the action (decapitations and bodies blown apart) is filmed to look phony, ultimately, the sticking and stabbing visuals become more disturbing than humorous. Then there is the pornographic nudity and the objectionable language.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Crude Language: A great deal of bigotry-laced name calling
Obscene Language: I simply lost count of the curse words, but trust me, the s-word, the f-word and “bitch” are well represented.
Profanity: Eight or so profane uses of God’s name, with at least two of Jesus’ name.
Violence: Though comically presented, there’s a lot of it, including heads and hands severed, and a bloodbath of brutal butchery. Blood: Gallons of blood
Sexual Intercourse: The sexuality is exploitive and frequent, including pornographic images of two women with a man
Nudity: A great deal of nudity – it’s a bit shocking to see movie stars like Lindsey Lohan and Jessica Alba bare all for their craft.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Smoking pot is frequent
Other: A priest is far too earthy and a very violent shooting spree takes place in a church; a priest is crucified in his church; all this action in the cathedral nears blasphemy.
Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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