directed by Robert Rodriguez
If there’s one thing we can all learn from Robert Rodriguez’s second obivous foray into the grindhouse realm, it’s that RR knows what works and refuses to deviate. He’s like Chuck Berry or Little Richard when it comes to blood and guts action extravaganzas, so much so that I was surprised that I didn’t see at least one leg fling gundown, in the spirit of El Mariachi, Desperado, From Dusk til Dawn, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and so on. Shit, I think I even remember one in The Faculty. Doesn’t matter, because RR knows how to entertain an auditorium of bloodthirsty twenty-somethings. Other critics clutching at straws have tried to find some sort of commentary on social policy, political vision and dystopian predictions of our nation’s future, which is as ridiculous as saying that Hot Tub Time Machine was a philosophical musing on existential causality. There’s no moral here, cousin! There’s just good, old fashioned ball busting, blood spattering and, you guessed it, machete wielding fun that will captivate the delinquent in all of us. Doesn’t hurt that cult slash B film icons like Jeff Fahey commit to roles that seem as developed as blueprints sketched on a cocktail napkin during a bender. Danny Trejo can still scare the shit out of me even in his 60s, and wow, did Michelle Rodriguez just not annoy me for once? Now that’s achievement, RR.
Official Stance: It’s no Planet Terror, not by a long shot, but what the hell? RR has a formula, like Maroon 5, and it hasn’t failed him yet. If it’s substance you seek, go back and watch QT’s Death Proof for your fix of the thinking person’s grindhouse film. I will, however, be disappointed if RR actually makes the sequels he promises during the closing credits.