Machete (character)

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Isador Cortez
Grind07 Grindhouse.jpg
Machete as featured in the fake trailer from Grindhouse.
First appearance Spy Kids (2001)
Last appearance Machete Kills
Created by Robert Rodriguez
Portrayed by Danny Trejo
Information
Nickname(s) Machete
Aliases Machete Cortez
Gender Male
Occupation Former police officer
Hired assassin
Spy gadget inventor
Family Gregorio Cortez (younger brother)
Padre Benicio Del Toro (brother) Marissa Cortez-Wilson (sister)
Wife (unnamed deceased)
Daughter (unnamed deceased)
Relatives Carmen Cortez (niece)
Juni Cortez (nephew)
Nationality Mexican

Isador Cortez,[a] also known as Machete, is a fictional character in the four Spy Kids films, the Grindhouse fake trailer, and the Machete and Machete Kills films.[1] The character is played by Danny Trejo.[2]

History[edit]

According to Machete director Robert Rodriguez, the character Machete was always intended for Danny Trejo: "When I met Danny, I said, 'This guy should be like the Mexican Jean-Claude Van Damme or Charles Bronson, putting out a movie every year and his name should be Machete.'"[3] Rodriguez also said, in an interview, that he

wrote [Trejo] this idea of a federale from Mexico who gets hired to do hatchet jobs in the U.S. I had heard sometimes FBI or DEA have a really tough job that they don't want to get their own agents killed on, they'll hire an agent from Mexico to come do the job for $25,000. I thought, "That's Machete. He would come and do a really dangerous job for a lot of money to him but for everyone else over here it's peanuts." But I never got around to making it.[4]

Character[edit]

Isador Cortez is a former Mexican Federal. He has his own shop that sells spy gadgets. His weapon of choice is the machete, although he can handle firearms perfectly fine. Cortez is fluent in both Spanish and English. On his chest is a tattoo depicting a woman.[5] Machete is related by blood to Juni Cortez and Carmen Cortez, being their uncle.[6] Trejo has described Machete as a "badass", and said that his mother had started calling him "Machete".[2]

Depiction[edit]

Machete franchise[edit]

In Machete, this version of Isador "Machete" Cortez is a former Mexican Federale who witnesses his wife and daughter being murdered by ruthless drug baron Rogelio Torrez (Steven Seagal) on February 12, 2006. Three years later, he is seen working at a construction site in Texas. There, he is paid $150,000 by businessman Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey) to assassinate the corrupt and anti-illegal immigration politician John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro). After getting shot in the leg before he can shoot McLaughlin, Machete realises that he has been set up in a false flag operation. Booth is revealed to be working with Torrez, a staunch supporter of McLaughlin. Seeking vengeance, Machete kidnaps Booth's daughter and wife with the help of a few allies, and also takes down his henchmen. This eventually leads to a confrontation between Machete and his allies (mostly Mexican immigrants) and Torrez and his gang. Machete triumphs, leaving the criminals for dead.

Machete returns in Machete Kills, where he is employed by Rathcock (Charlie Sheen), the President of the United States, to foil a plan of world domination. The perpetrator is initially thought to be Mendez (Demian Bichir), a crazed revolutionary planning to missile-bomb the Congressional Palace. However, Machete finds out that the true mastermind is Luther Voz (Mel Gibson), who is keen on initiating rampage throughout the U.S. Machete finds Voz and foils his plans, but a now-disfigured Voz, having been burnt by Machete, escapes into outer space with his henchmen. Without hesitating, Machete agrees to track him down in space.

Reception[edit]

Sharon Knolle of Moviefone called Machete the Mexican equivalent of fictional British spy James Bond.[2]

Film appearances[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In Machete, his birth name according to the federal database is "Machete Cortez".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Frank Scheck. "Machete -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Knolle, Sharon (October 7, 2013). "Danny Trejo Don't Tweet and Other Revelations From the 'Machete Kills' Star". Moviefone. 
  3. ^ Moro, Eric (March 11, 2007). "SXSW 07: Machete Movie Coming". IGN Film Force. 
  4. ^ Edwards, Gavin (April 2007). "Horror Film Directors Dish About Grindhouse Trailers". Rolling Stone. 
  5. ^ Robert Rodriguez (Director) (2010). Machete (Film) (in English). Event occurs at 37:42. 
  6. ^ Westel, Bob (April 1, 2011). "A roundtable chat with actor Danny Trejo, aka “Machete”". Premium Hollywood. 

External links[edit]