Machete is a 2010 action film directed by Robert Rodriguez and Ethan Maniquis. The "Machete" character originates from the 2001 Spy Kids film, written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. This film is an expansion of a fake trailer that was released together with Rodriguez's and Quentin Tarantino's 2007 Grindhouse. Machete continues the B movie and exploitation style of Grindhouse, including in part the same footage. Danny Trejo stars in his first lead role as the title character. The film also stars Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Don Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal and Lindsay Lohan, who filmed scenes for the film during the autumn of 2009. Cheech Marin and Jeff Fahey returned to portray their characters from the original trailer. Machete was released in the United States by 20th Century Fox and Rodriguez's company, Troublemaker Studios, on September 3, 2010.
The story revolves around an illegal immigrant, Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo), a former Mexican Federale. The film opens in Mexico with Machete on a mission to rescue a kidnapped girl. During the operation he crossed his corrupt Chief as well as the powerful drug lord, Rogelio Torrez (Steven Seagal) who kills Machete's wife and daughter, leaving him for dead thereafter. Three years later, a down and out Machete roams Texas looking to do yard work in exchange for money. Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey), a local businessman and spin doctor, explains to Machete that the corrupt Texas State Senator McLaughlin (Robert De Niro) is sending hundreds of illegals out of the country. In order to stop this, Booth offers Machete $150,000 to kill McLaughlin. Machete accepts the murder contract after being threatened by Booth if he doesn't. While Machete is watching McLaughlin from a rooftop during a rally, he is double-crossed and one of Booth's henchmen shoots him and then shoots Senator McLaughlin in the leg. It is revealed that Booth orchestrated the entire attempted assassination as part of a false flag operation to gain public support for McLaughlin's campaign so that a more secure border is put in place. By setting up Machete as the gunman, the conspirators make it appear that an outlaw illegal Mexican immigrant has tried to assassinate the senator. An injured Machete escapes capture by Booth and is taken to a Mexican network hospital to be treated for wounds, escaping once again from Booth's henchmen at the hospital. Agent Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba), a persistent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, is sent by her superior to find and capture the injured Machete. Machete, with the help of Luz (Michelle Rodriguez) recruits Padre (Cheech Marin), Machete's "holy" brother. To take revenge on Booth, Machete kidnaps Booth's wife and his daughter, April (Lindsay Lohan), after "starring" in an amateur adult film with them. He also collects evidence from Booth's house linking Senator McLaughlin and the Mexican drug lord in a major drugs trafficking deal. After encountering Machete, Sartana begins to develop an interest in him. Booth and his men kill Padre after finding Machete's hideout, but do not find his wife and daughter, and unbeknownst to Booth the church has hidden cameras watching him. Through the recordings, the news of McLaughlin's corruption and faked assassination is eventually aired on national television. This causes McLaughlin to kill Booth out of anger and heads back to join Rogelio Torrez to kill Machete. In order to eliminate the people who double-crossed him, Machete gathers the Mexican Network and leads them to the base of the border vigilantes, led by Von Jackson (Don Johnson). During this confrontation the Mexican immigrants triumph over the border vigilantes. Jackson is killed by a shot to the back of the head fired by Luz while trying to escape and Machete fights Torrez, culminating with the drug lord committing seppuku with one of Machete's blades that he had just been stabbed with. April shows up wearing a nun's habit after escaping from the church and attempts to kill Senator McLaughlin after figuring out that he had killed her father. McLaughlin escapes, but he is later killed by the last remnants of his own border vigilante group (led by the new recruit who was seen earlier in the film) who mistook him for a Mexican. The film ends with Machete being brought legal status papers by Sartana Rivera and riding off with her into the night. Before the credits roll, the announcer says that Machete will return in Machete Kills and Machete Kills Again.