machete4

Wait, Machete actually needs a script not scrawled by knives in gringo blood? Following the recent, zany casting rundown for the cheapo flick that includes Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Don Johnson, and Steven Seagal (…walk into a bar), Latino Review have the first script review for the unlikely Grindhouse spin-off. You may recall that Jonah Hill was said to have passed on the film after reading a draft by director Robert Rodriguez. Well, LR’s reviewer is non-plussed by his script as well, calling it a rushed, whiz-bang effort, even for the Austin-auteur who sprayed out Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Some choice excerpts and a few thoughts on the project after the jump…

Rodriquez dials up the speed like never before, racing from scene to scene so blatantly, you can actually taste his attempts at masking the lack of story. Although if I had Rodriquez with me right now, he’d probably slam his guitar over my head and say, Who cares about the story?? This is about naked women and a dude mowing down people with a blade of death! And in that sense, the script is successful in spades.

The review starts out on the mixed high note above, which I found it semi-perplexing, since that is what people want from a Machete picture. The review also doubts a film made from this script will appeal to the same, younger mall rat demo that copped Grindhouse Hot Topic merch. I found that doubtful, as they’re probably the ones least expecting a bloodletting nod to the Spaghetti Westerns of yore.

The script lays out a basic origins story for Machete, including one of several hasty double-crosses that he faces throughout. Having watched all of Rodriguez’s R-rated pictures—and witnessed their coinciding decline in quality and vision, sans Sin City—the script sounds like it may lack the freshness of Desperado and/or the well-curated pulp originality of From Dusk Till Dawn (written by Quentin Tarantino). On the flip-side, I felt that Grindhouse was far too polished, expensive, and faux-shocking, and still expect to dig Machete more than Planet Terror even after this lengthy report. Also: it’s worth noting that Rodriguez’s scripts tend to be almost the opposite of Tarantino’s in terms of detail and lucidity…

..there isn’t a single hook in this story you can hang your hat on. It’s too silly. Too simplistic. Too dumb. Even at a reader-friendly 88 pages this script feels 50 pages too long. I guess the ultimate question is, how long can you keep people interested in a man racing around cutting people up with a machete?

Much of the plot seems to revolve around Machete being hired to carry out an assassination. One thing the review doesn’t mention is what characters the aforementioned actors may be playing. I’m particularly curious to see Don Johnson play—and, as a huge Miami Vice fan, I’m guessing—an oily sleezeball. And I’m sure Johnson will get a few choice reunion scenes with Machete co-star and RR-regular Cheech Marin (Nash Bridges). It appears that there are plenty of sluts for Lohan to play, possibly including…

Meet Luz, the sexy Salma Hayek-like Taco Truck owner who carries a meat cleaver instead of a can of mace. When some thugs try to mug Machete, Luz hops in so the two can chop up and pound down the wannabe gangsters into a giant mound of flesh.

Terrible or not, we’ll definitely be leaving cans of Schlitz on the floor at this one.

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