Thursday, 2 June 2011

Machete, dir/wr. Robert Rodriguez, st. Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Cheech Martin

Oh dear god, am I getting old? Am I? I just watched Machete, thoroughly disliked it, and now I'm thinking I just did the movie-watching equivalent of leaving the party early because I want to get an early night. But just look at the film's winning pedigree! You've got Tarantino's bossom-buddy Robert Rodriguez directing, retro-trashy B-movie cinematography (and plot), a whole host of going, going and bygone stars, and in Danny Trejo's titular Machete, an anti-hero as monosyllabic and two dimensional as the best of 'em. Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes described the film as "messy, violent, shallow and tasteless - and that's precisely the point of one of the summer's most cartoonishly enjoyable films" which if true, doesn't paint the moviegoing public in too good a light. And yes, much is made - rightly so - of films, music, art in general not having to mean something all the time, and why can't it sometimes just be fun and escapist, and I thoroughly agree. But sadly Machete is not one of those films. For all its blood, it's bloodless for a start. The film's skittish narrative may very well be paying homage, but look, there's a reason B-movies are B-movies. It's a bit like all those iPhone apps that make your pictures look distressed; the difference between "retro-cool" and a picture that just looks a bit shit, is slight indeed.