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First of all, fair warning: this is another in the retro style of 70's exploitation, B-movies. Lots of over-the-top violence, some nudity for nudity's sake, all centred around a bad-ass who was screwed by the System, and so rights wrongs, enacts justice, and gets his revenge all at the same time.

But if you're in the mood for violent nonsense, it's a fun movie.

Machete is an ex-Federale whose wife is murdered, his mission is compromised, and he ends up among the illegal day-labourers in the South. Soon enough, he's embroiled in a plot to re-elect the hardline, anti-immigrant politician...a matter which displeases him greatly. He joins forces with a group of of people fighting to help illegal immigrants.

The many kills he makes are mostly done with the tools of the Labourer's trade: machetes, weed-whackers, pick-axes, and in one case, a mop. (However, the movie isn't too strict about this neat little theme, as he also uses heavy-duty firearms and medical tools.)

(At one point, he swings from one window to another using a man's intestines. It's too ridiculous to be horrific, but this is plainly intentional.)

The anti-immigrant politicians and officials are not acting on principle, by the way: their plan is a convoluted one of building an electrified border fence, keeping the anti-immigrant forces satisfied, but maintaining control over the cheap, illegal labour that they must ensure will continue. Lots of money's at stake.

The Minutemen group (unnamed as such, but it couldn't be more obvious) are true racist vigilantes, but are being used by the Senator and his cohorts for their own purposes. The Senator, ultimately, is murdered by the vigilantes, who mistake him for an illegal Mexican.

It's none other than the great Robert de Niro, and as usual, he pulls the role off wonderfully.

So yes, plainly this is political advocacy...but that's par for the course in the 70's exploitation films, many of which embraced racist stereotypes about African-Americans, while simultaneously taking their side in the fight against "the man."

I've even heard the movie condemned for "taking political sides." While that's unquestionably true--the movie is 100% on the side of the illegals, and 100% against those who dislike them--condemning a movie like this for its politics seems absurd to the point of hilarity.

Anyway, a few weak moments aside, a lot of good, incorrect fun and mayhem for those whose film tastes run to the down and dirty, as mine do.

Edited by bloodyminded
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