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September 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Robert Rodriguez’s Machete is the kind of horror romp that critics like to call a gorefest. All of the Mexican characters in it, led by Danny Trejo in the title role, are inflated stereotypes of Mexican bad men; all of the Americans in it, save for one or two, are stupid and greedy. The film has already sparked considerable debate on conservative talk shows. Critics are debating its worth as well, but politics doesn’t figure into their commentaries. Claudia Puig writes in USA Today that Machete is merely “eccentric and playful, though not recommended for the squeamish or humorless.” But Amy Biancolli in the San Francisco Chronicle maintains that it is “monumentally gruesome and just as monumentally cynical.” On the other hand, Tirdad Derakhshani pours praise on the film, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “It’s hard to think of another film this summer that offers such sheer anarchic fun.” Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune complains that the movie “is at least half an hour too long for its own good,” while Stephen Holden writes in the New York Times: “The pace is swift, the tone playful, the screenplay peppered with one-liners.”

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