Before Machete's opening credits even get a chance to roll, approximately 108 people are gruesomely executed, roughly 14 percent via decapitation—all but two by the hand (and the machete) of Mexican Federale Machete (Danny Trejo, spot-on in his first leading role, a part for which it seems he was born). The first to die is Machete's partner (shot by drug-lord sentries during the initial assault), and the last to die is Machete's wife (decapitated, delivered by Steven Seagal, here as a Mexican drug lord with a suspicious widow's peak).

Fast-forward through a narrow escape and some bullshit recovery time (Machete don't need no recovery time), and we rejoin Machete in his new life as a day laborer in Texas. One fistfight later (Machete wins without even throwing a punch), a racist, murderous Texas senator goads Machete into doing something he's against. Fast-forward through the inevitable setup (Machete already know it was a setup), and Machete is on the illuminated path to revenge. But his enemies are numerous: The law thinks he attempted to kill the senator (Robert De Niro). A homicidal cabal of border patrollers led by Lt. Stillman (Don Johnson!) wants him dead. And the man who killed his family, who is in cahoots with the senator's henchmen, finds out that Machete has resurfaced.

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Factions splinter in the battle over illegal immigration, and soon Machete counts among his allies the leader of an underground illegal immigrant network, Luz (Michelle Rodriguez); a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent (Jessica Alba); and a cell phone (Machete don't text). Blood begins to boil when the bad guys kill his priest brother (Cheech Marin).

What follows is a warpath featuring all manner of shocking assaults. A weed whacker becomes a weapon; an attacker's large intestine is used as a rappelling rope; a machete stabs through a door, an open mouth, and out the back of the head. The casting is pitch-perfect, the gore—aside from a few sloppy moments of CGI—is awe-inspiring, and the laughs are hearty and constant. Bonuses: Lindsay Lohan as the main henchman's drug-addled, internet-porn-star-aspiring daughter. Also, watching Machete write a text message. If you are in a bad mood, stop what you're doing immediately and go watch this movie. recommended