River Of Grass
Cozy and Lee go on the lam after an accidental shooting in Kelly Reichardt's debut feature
On Film4: 4 Sep 1:00AM
Star studded B-movie horror homage adapted from 2007's Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez collaboration, Grindhouse
Given the critical and commercial disaster he suffered with Grindhouse one wonders exactly why Robert Rodriguez even bothered stretching out one of that film's popular fake trailers into a full-length feature. Never one to give up on an idea, RR picks up where his collaboration with Quentin Tarantino left off, but despite the relative fun to be had watching blood splatter walls and Uzi-toting twins in nurses' uniforms, it has the same problems Grindhouse did three years ago.
Professional bit-part actor Danny Trejo takes the lead role as the titular character who's short on words and long on enormous knives. The plot, which is as simple and stupid as you'd expect, is totally irrelevant and features powerful drug lords, corrupt senators, abnormally attractive immigrations officers and women who serve coffee by day and carry guns bigger than they are by night.
What should make for all the right ingredients for an alcohol-fuelled Saturday night at the cinema is once again hindered by problems that lie in the execution. Despite desperately clinging on to the exploitation style, Machete abandons the low-key production values about 10 minutes in and instead becomes a 20 million dollar Hollywood film full of A-listers and Steven Seagal.
If Rodriguez is so fond of the B-movies he's attempting to translate for a modern audience then why is the final product so bereft of anything that resembles affection? Worse still, it's not funny. Trejo removing several heads in one fell swoop may be amusing but the lone laugh in 105 minutes comes from a naked girl removing her mobile from, ahem, an unexpected place.
Yet another missed opportunity from Rodriguez who relies on hammy performances from acting legends instead of adequately attempting to recreate the genre he claims to love.
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