Danny Trejo in 'Machete'
He can't pretend he didn't know a battle was coming. After all, he fired the first shot.

No, not Machete, the blade-wielding, vengeance-minded hero of the action thriller that opens Friday. Rather, the provocateur and co-writer/co-director of 'Machete,'Robert Rodriguez, who has infused his tongue-in-cheek exploitation film with an angry political polemic about immigration policy.

Rodriguez made a point of promoting the film a few months ago with a trailer that called out the state of Arizona for its controversial new immigration-policing law, stoking fears among anti-illegal immigration hardliners that the finished movie would be even more inflammatory than it is. It also prompted the state of Texas to consider withholding filmmaker tax incentives from Rodriguez, a move that could have a devastating impact on movie production in a state that has become a haven for independent filmmaking thanks largely to Rodriguez himself. And it could well stir up an anti-immigrant fervor that could hurt the film at the box office or even impact this fall's Congressional elections. That's a lot of backlash for one little movie full of laughably over-the-top violence and sexuality, but then, Rodriguez and his crew have hardwired outrage into 'Machete,' so they can't be too surprised if it riles people.
Machete Movie Poster
Based on 29 critics

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