This is the first sequel to Machete, which was itself a feature length remake of a Grindhouse trailer. This time Machete has to save the whole world from a mad-man and his bombs, but Machete Kills is SO much more than that, and way way less too…
Inventive, bloody violence.
Lots of hot scantily clad girls.
Danny Trejo is great.
It is terrible, albeit intentionally.
Danny Trejo is short, old, and pretty bad.
It is dumb, dumb, dumb!
Robert Rodriguez – Director
Kyle Ward – Screenplay
Robert Rodriguez & Marcel Rodriguez – Story
Danny Trejo – Machete
Mel Gibson – Voz
Amber Heard – Miss San Antonio
Michelle Rodriguez – Luz
Sofía Vergara – Desdemona
Charlie Sheen (as Carlos Estevez) – Mr. President
Gotta say this right up front, so there is no confusion: Machete Kills is quite terrible. However, it is intentionally terrible, and it is for that very reason it is great. If you saw Machete, then you know what to expect here. It is a Robert Rodriguez grindhouse action movie, with a ridiculously dumb story, plenty of scantily clad women, lots of hammy acting, and a tonne of bonkers action and bloody violence. If you like the sound of that, then you’ll love this movie. If not, then avoid this at all costs.
GRATUITOUS GRINDHOUSE ACTION
The tone is immediately set with a hilarious Grindhouse-esque trailer, followed by tacky 70′s music and the wibbly-wobbly Feature Presentation screen, and then we’re off on 100 minutes of cheap cheesy awesome. Yeah, there’s a plot, but who gives a damn. This movie isn’t about plot. It’s about hot girls, bad asses, bloody exploitation movie style action, of which there is plenty, and intentional laughs. That which would make you groan in ANY other movie, illicits a vocal cheer in this movie. It is also filled with big names, and recognizable faces, which is part of the charm. Just seeing who pops up next, and what ludicrous role they’ll be in, is a considerable part of the fun.
Just look at some of the names that appear in this movie: Trejo; Gibson; Rodriguez; Vergara; Gaga; Banderas; Gooding Jr; Alba; and Estevez (Sheen). Everyone is having a brilliant time, and are all varying levels of over the top. Mel Gibson is great. He seems to be channeling his infamous “sugar-tits” craziness, and has redeemed himself somewhat. He is just great to watch, as is Sheen as the “winning”-est US President of all time! The El Cameleón character also brings out some surprisingly fun performances. Demian Bichir gives the best actual performance in the movie, as the mental baddie Mendez. Marko Zaror deserves a worthy mention for being the baddest-ass in the movie, kicking the considerable ass every time he is on screen. However, this is a Machete movie, and as such it is a Danny Trejo movie.
TREJO IS MACHETE
Trejo is a weird phenomenon. He just isn’t a particularly good actor, he is awkward and stiff in a lot of the action, he is a tiny wee man (at only 5″7′), and his face is very weird looking. All that said, he is undeniably cool, and deeply charismatic. Here’s another remarkable fact about him…he is 69, and, with that in mind, he actually does remarkably well in the action stakes. It also explains why he sits down so much in the movie. At the end of the day, Trejo IS Machete, and Machete is cool.
The other star of this movie is director, writer, producer, composer, cinematographer, and editor Robert Rodriguez. This is him at his most unhinged, indulgent, and fun. He does a great job of hiding Trejo’s stature, and age. The movie is very colorful, incredibly energetic, and most of all cheap. This is a movie that relishes in it’s own cheapness, with some of the sets looking like they’re straight off a Mexican soap, and some of the action scenes are oddly reminiscent of the ’66 Batman, only bloody as hell. There are some of the best propeller deaths ever, and there’s a brilliantly outrageous electrocution. It is also littered with movie references, including my new favorite Star Wars visual gag, and quite a few nods to some of Rodriguez’ earlier movies. The movie does morph in to the weird Mexican style Roger Moore era Bond movie we’ve all been clamoring for, and the second half detours in to mental sci-fi territory, but Rodriguez keeps it moving so fast you’re swept up in to the joyous dreadfulness.
BOTTOM LINE: TERRIBLE TERRIBLE FUN
So… Let’s be honest, you already know if you’ll like this. Machete Kills is a well made intentionally terrible film. It is dumb, cheap, utterly bonkers, and totally awesome. So very dumb, yet so very very fun. The problem with this movie is that you have to be in on the joke, and if you are then it earns a whole extra star. You’ll know by the time the opening credits finish if you’ll enjoy this.