Danny Trejo has been working as a character actor in small parts for over 20 years, and probably long ago gave up on ever landing a lead role—that is if he ever had thoughts of getting one. A man with a face like a well-weathered catcher’s mitt, he is miles away from a from an action star in the Tom Cruise/Mission Impossible mold. As a guy who was once quite ripped years ago but has since grown a bit pudgy around the middle, he does not even fit the Bruce Willis/Die Hard mold.
But Machete was molded especially for Trejo by his hombre Robert Rodriguez and everything is there to highlight what a badass Trejo is, or at least what a badass he can play. Steven Seagal shows up as a villain, but is so hugely fat he is not at all menacing. Don Johnson and Robert De Niro seem to be having fun playing insane, power hungry men, a Mexican border guard and a Texas senator respectively, but they are just there to put up a big fight against Machete.