Yes, I’m talking about the star of Robert Rodriguez’s grindhouse inspiration, Machete.
Those bags under Danny’s eyes look like they’re already packed for Cannes. We’re talking about a face that looks like somebody overlaid a satellite map of a face on a real one and then played hacky sack with it.
And check out that cast of all-stars and never-were-stars and certainly-no-longer-stars. This must be what it’s like when the Sheens and the Baldwins have a barbecue.
Witness the miracle that is Steven Seagal, an actor who hasn’t been bankable since my bank was a piggy. His pony tail and his wallet are the only things about him that haven’t gotten doughy over the years.
Seagal plays a Mexican mobster with all the pomp you’d expect from an actor that doesn’t think twice about wearing a bathing cap shaped like Bela Lugosi’s widow’s peak and calling it “hair.”
“It’s Kevlar,” mumbled Seagal, “it deflects bullets….Unfortunately, it also attracts ridicule the way the bargain bin attracts my DVD’s.”
Seagal has been winning many below-the-line roles lately, thanks to ICM’s new “Pool maintenance division.” Said Seagal, “when it comes to on-screen chemistry, I’m the guy they look to for the on-screen pool chemicals.”
Enter Michelle Rodriguez, who brings a little biker gang to every role she plays. While her appeal is undeniable – especially when her eye is patched with more clothing than the rest of her – I fear we will never hear the words “Michelle Rodriguez in Eat, Pray, Love 2.”
Trejo is a revelation – he’s a natural leading man and a terrific action star. It’s not easy spitting out lines like “Machete don’t listen to orders!” But Danny acquits himself nicely, even if he once needed the State of California penal system to do that for him.
Don Johnson and Jeff Fahey join the festivities, suggesting that Rodriguez was casting alphabetically and needed somebody from the “J’s” and “F’s.”
The cream was more easily skimmed when it comes to Jessica Alba, who is featured prominently in a Danny Trejo love scene, one which earned Machete a “Y” rating – for “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
Everything’s right about the tone of this movie. Whenever a character survives a bullet to the head because it rammed into a bullet that was already in his head, that’s a movie for me. It’s just the right level of absurdity and popcorn-mad gumption.
And it’s capped by Jessica Alba’s triumphant call for revolution:
“We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us!”
“…and Plymouth Rock landed on us!” added Spike Lee, who happened to be walking by at the time listening closely for any references swiped from Malcolm X.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a climactic battle between rednecks with guns and angry immigrants armed with landscaping tools and driving pimped out hoopties, Machete is the movie for you.