Cuts like a Machete

Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez' exploitation film is overstuffed and overcomplicated.

In 2007, though we knew there was a definite possibility, it was still hard to envision feature-length versions of the gloriously silly trailers for then-faux exploitation films that accompanied the double-bill Grindhouse. Don't, Thanksgiving, Werewolf Women of the SS and Machete (even Hobo With a Shotgun) said more in two minutes than they could ever say in two hours. But here we are. There is a strong kernel of plot in the original trailer---Machete (Danny Trejo) is double-crossed on a job to assassinate a Texas senator with a hard line on immigration---but the film perhaps overcompensates for its simplistic beginnings by over-stuffing the script with twists and characters with motives. The style of the feature film is fun, but the purity of the trailer looms large.

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