I tagged along last night on what should probably have been a boys’ movie night out. The guys, inspired by the trailer, had decided to watch Machete, an entire movie fleshed out around a passing storylet in Rodriguez’s GrindHouse (thanks to The Boy who puzzled it out on the drive to the theatre).
As I said, I hadn’t seen the trailer, and I have no regrets about that. It made the movie itself a perfect cascade of ridiculousness, the unbelievable tumbling over itself again and again, right to the very end.
It was fantastic.
This movie is not one for people who hate gore, or who love plausible storylines, or coherent character behaviour. It is the ultimate Friday night fluff action flick: one part vigilantism, one part porn, three parts fights, all portrayed by a big-named cast of caricatures. (The lack of car chase scenes was more than made up for by the cars featured in the film. Again, awesome.)
The cast is a roll-call of big names, all of whom seem to have had a lot of fun filming this thing. I do wonder sometimes if Michelle Rodriguez and Jessica Alba ever get sick of playing the unafraid-to-get-dirty Strong Woman and/or the squeaky-clean, upright citizen who Does The Right Thing*, respectively, but I can’t think of anyone’s performance in this movie that wasn’t right on the mark. (Yes, even Lindsay Lohan.) Dare I say it? Steven Seagal was… not ridiculous in this film, at least no more than the film itself. How’s that for high praise?
* Yes, yes, I know, Sin City. I maintain that of the characters in that movie, Nancy Callahan was still the goody two-shoes though.
The ending was perfect. No loose plot elements, no nagging details that could easily have been resolved. You sail through the story, good guys vs bad guys, complete with under-dressed women, and over-armed everybody, and are left at the end feeling satisfied.
It’s the perfect Hollywood snack.
So would I recommend it? Hells yes, and skip the trailer before you go. This isn’t a movie I’d buy, or likely watch again (maybe on tv), but it did provide a solid hour and a half of the four of us laughing, right through the ending. Well done, Rodriguez.
So, 8/9 unless you have no sense of humour.