Director Robert Rodriguez has quite the slate of movies on his hands. His films range from the kid-friendly and fun Spy Kids & The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl 3D , all the way to his films like From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City & Grindhouse. Speaking of Grindhouse, two full-length movies spawned from Rodriguez’s trailers in that very film. The first, was the semi-decent Planet Terror, followed by the action-packed and bloody fun Machete. Now, three years after the success that was Machete, Rodriguez is back with more stars and more ridiculousness.
Machete Kills takes place after the events of the first Machete. Now, we see that Sartana (Jessica Alba) and Machete (Danny Trejo) are teamed up and fighting for the U.S Government. When things go awry, Sartana is killed and Machete is captured by Sheriff Doakes (William Sadler). Before Machete is killed, Mr. President (Charlie Sheen a.k.a “Carlos Estevez”) call him in for a favor. A madman named Mendez (Demian Bichir) has a missile aimed for Washington D.C. and it’s up to Machete to stop him.
Along his journey, Machete is teamed up with Miss San Antonio (Amber Heard) and his old friend, Luz (Michelle Rodriguez). His only problem, is that the likes of Desdemona (Sofia Vergara) and her crew of scantliy-clad women and La Camaleon (Lady Gaga) are trying to track him down. Things only get worse when a multi-billionaire named Voz (Mel Gibson) comes into the picture. From there, the film only gets weirder and less like a film at all.
I’ll be honest with you all. I was letdown by this film. I actually enjoyed Machete because I thought it was funny, ridiculous and had just the right amount of a Grindhouse-aspect. The blood was all fake so that didn’t gross me out and what I saw was over-the-top and silly! I mean, who thinks of using someones intestines to rappel out of a building? Not me, that’s for sure. This time around, we do see the intestines used to suck someone into a helicopter blade, but that’s about as absurd as this film gets. The rest of it has some decapitation via a machete and some gunshot blood splatters. That’s it! I wanted so much more!
Throughout the film, Danny Trejo looks bored and tired. He keeps repeating his classic quote “Machete don’t text”,with a different word replacing “text” each time. It get’s old, fast. Speaking of which, Danny Trejo looks ancient and weathered in Machete Kills. I know he’s not the youngest of guys, but he’s seen better days. He doesn’t really bring anything new to the character or to the movie and his action skills seem to have been dumbed down for this film. Personally, myself and many others would rather see him doing another Spy Kids movie, just so we could see him react to things and smile for once.
I also had a big issue with Rodriguez’s portrayal of women in this film, particularly with Alexa Vega, who you may know as Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids franchise. She’s grown up and out (for lack of a better word) and she’s on full display here. She sports a pair of assless chaps and a large bra that can barely contain her. I found it really uncomfortable that Rodriguez started her career as a child and now has her walking around half-naked. Then again, Sofia Vergara nearly bares all and that’s something as well.
This movie felt a bit like something that has been done before. Before the film even starts, there’s a hilarious and low-budget trailer for Machete Kills Again… In Space. With that trailer, we got funny clips and voice-overs for a made up film. That got me laughing quite a bit and some of the deaths in the film had me laughing too. However, that was the extent of my laughing. For the kind of film that Machete Kills is, I felt that Rodriguez delves too deep into constructing a story and creating fun dialog. Due to this, the film often drags
Worse than anything, though, Machete Kills gets incredibly ludicrous when Star Wars and Space find their way into the film. Mel Gibson’s character apparently had a freak accident in a spaceship and gained the power to see into the future. So, as one must do with this power, he concocts a plan to nuke the world and take laborers into space to build him a new colony. It’s a really dumb plan and makes the movie worse. It’s also so unpredictable that you may find it funny at first, but then you realize that it has no place in this film.
While it does seem like I’m knocking pretty hard on Machete Kills, I did like some elements of the film. I thought that the way Lady Gage and the character La Camaleon were handled very well and Sofia Vergara had a viable reason to be yelling all the time. The outrageous deaths were awesome and I just wish that there were more of those. Even Charlie Sheen… I mean Carlos Estevez and Demian Bichir were awesome in this movie! They fit right in and had my laughing my ass off. So, Machete Kills wasn’t all bad.
Regardless of its hilarity and vast array of fun characters, Machete Kills is not going to be a movie that I can recommend to anyone. Most people aren’t huge fans of the Grindhouse genre anyways (not that Machete Kills is as bloody as other films) and most of the dialog is pretty vulgar. Combine that with an awful story and you haven’t got much to offer. I get that this is not a movie that you’re supposed to take seriously, but I didn’t look at it like it was. I laid back and was hoping to enjoy myself and I didn’t have nearly as much fun as I did with this films’ predecessor. It’s not all bad, but it’s very far from good.
Machete Kills Trailer