Machete Kills, 2013.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez.
Starring Danny Trejo, Alexa Vega, Mel Gibson, Carlos Estevez, Amber Heard, Vanessa Hudgens, Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba, Lady Gaga, Michelle Rodriguez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Demián Bichir, Zoe Saldana, Edward James Olmos, William Sadler, Antonio Banderas, Tom Savini, and Walton Goggins.
Machete is recruited by the U.S. President to take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet.
While the original Machete trailer was one of the highlights of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 double feature Grindhouse, containing more entertainment value in its two minutes than the entirety of Death Proof, the 2010 feature version failed to live up to the promise of the faux trailer. Personally, I thought it played things a little too straight, if you can say that about a film that has its protagonist abseiling from a hospital window using some poor guy’s intestines. The same can’t be said for Machete Kills however; the sequel is goofy, immature, over-the-top and unashamedly ridiculous, and it’s all the better for it.
After a trailer for Machete Kills Again… In Space, things get underway with Machete recruited by the U.S. President (Charlie Sheen, credited by his real name Carlos Estevez) to take out Demian Bichir’s cartel leader Marcos Mendez, who happens to have a WMD pointed at the States, and the trigger attached to his heart. Capturing his target, Machete heads north for the border, pursued by Madame Desdemona (Sofia Vergara) and her crew of gun-toting prostitute assassins, not to mention the mysterious face-changing assassin El Chameleon (Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lady Gaga and Antonio Banderas). And of course it’s only a matter of time before Machete tracks down the real big bad, Mel Gibson’s Star Wars-obsessed billionaire industrialist Luther Voz, who harbours ambitions of destroying the Earth from the comfort of his private space station.
As you’d expect, the plot here paper-thin and little more than an excuse for Danny Trejo’s former Federale to get the women, kill the bad guys, deliver one-liners, and kill more bad guys. Trejo hacks his way through countless kills while Rodriguez bombards us with increasingly crazy scenarios and supporting characters, although in fairness it’s only really Vergara, Bichir and Gibson who add much to proceedings, hamming it up as their respective villains. You’ll need to switch your brain off at the door, but if just you’re looking for a couple of hours of ludicrous action, cartoonish violence and mindless entertainment, then you’ll no doubt want to give Machete Kills a watch.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Gary Collinson is a writer and lecturer from the North East of England. He is the editor-in-chief of FlickeringMyth.com and the author of Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen.