2010 Lindsay Lohan movie
Plot: An ex-cop who looks as if he finished in third place in a hatchet-fighting contest is hired to assassinate a senator during his re-election campaign. He realizes that the whole thing was a set-up, and while on the run from seemingly everybody, he has to figure out who's behind it all. Turns out it's a tubby Steven Seagal, the same Steven Seagal who put him out of commission in the first place. We learn that revenge is a dish best served with jalapeno.
You pretty much know what to expect going in, and the first ten minutes delivers with a few decapitations, a naked woman, a hero using a gun with a severed hand attached to it, and a ridiculous pace. From there, one could accuse the movie of flat lining. The characters grow little, if at all, and the story's framework seems to have been stolen from the musuem of action movies. There's a pinch of your average kung-fu movie, 70's grindhouse (naturally), and (again naturally) Rodriguez's earlier work like Spy Kids and Spy Kids 2. The violence is so over the top that it's lucky this isn't in 3-D like the third Spy Kids movie. The audience would wind up wet with blood. This is co-directed, and I imagine Rodriguez focused his abilities on the action sequences with the other guy (Ethan Maniquis) tackling the boring stuff. I like how the action stuff is filmed; whether or not you actually want it, you're forced to be right in there with the splatter. You're forced to sweat and bleed with the characters, and since I imagined that I smelled a lot like I imagine Danny Trejo smells after I finished Machete, I required a quick shower. But the violence is always displayed with a tongue in cheek or, more appropriately, with a tongue that pokes all the way through a cheek so that blood gushes out and stains the walls and carpet. Being a Rodriguez flick, you're sure to get a handful of those cool moments that make Tarantino want to be his buddy. Here, you get the crucifixion of Cheech Marin (It's about time!) and Lindsay Lohan shooting people while wearing a nun's habit. Actually, just Lohan in the habit would have been blasphemous enough. Like buddy Tarantino with Travolta in Pulp Fiction, Rodriguez manages to coax some really cool performances from guys who aren't supposed to have cool performances anymore. In Machete, it's Don Johnson who is chilling as corrupt lawman Von Jackson and, to a lesser extent, Seagal as the big bad guy. Really big. Robert Deniro and Jessica Alba are both OK, and Jeff Fahey is his usually bitchin' self. And Danny Trejo, an actor who may have tasted his last chance at a starring role unless Rodriguez really does make a couple sequels to this, is very very cool. There's a lot of stuff about immigration and border control that seems superfluous, really doing nothing other than getting in the way of the fun violence. Recommended for fans of the genre.