'Machete' succeeds in what it is trying to be. An extension of Rodriguez and Tarantino's 'Grindhouse'. It is over-the-top and ridiculous but it is supposed to be. It makes little sense and sadly turns into a stage for Rodriguez to harp on the illegal immigrant issue. We come to 'Machete' looking for nothing more than moronic fun and an exploitation film of epic proportions we are not looking to be taught a lesson, but are indeed given that as the movie drags to its highlight of a conclusion that promises two more films. Danny Trejo is not your ideal leading man and is never as full of charisma as we'd like to imagine or as that fake trailer set him up to be. I guess that is where I find the disappointment in the full feature. As a gimmick between the Grindhouse features it was one of pure hilarity and campiness. It was one of the best parts of the double feature and as with most things in Hollywood, if something can churn out more money it will likely be made to do so. With that in mind 'Machete' is a funny exploitation film, it is no 'Black Dynamite' but it is fair enough, it just doesn't live up to the expectations those who were looking forward to it, held for it. It does boast a pretty awesome cast though. Besides Trejo we have DeNiro as a corrupt senator who has a hard vendetta against illegal aliens. Michelle Rodriguez is criminally underused here as the luminous She. I would have rather seen her in the Jessica Alba role if it meant she received more screen time, but it was good to see her sport an eye-patch and kick some butt in the final showdown between the Mexican "Network" and the secret agency that DeNiros character has created to kill them as they cross the border. I simply cannot accept Alba as a serious actress. Even when she tries in such films as this and 'The Killer Inside Me'. She never comes off as credible or accurate, just as a pretty girl attempting to act like a grown-up and here a hard ass that we know isn't anything close to the truth. Jeff Fahey is the only one here who seems to get what the makers are exactly going for. He is over the top in his delivery and actions though Steven Seagal does a pretty good job at doing an even worse impersonation of his usual persona. Cheech Marin is added in for a few laughs as is Don Johnson and the sight of Lindsay Lohan in a nun outfit is the most bizarre and ridiculous thing you will see on a movie screen all year. I wouldn't watch 'Machete' again and I don't know that I would recommend it to anyone, but it is a rather fun and campy ride. One i enjoyed but wouldn't care to re-live.

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