There is only one Machete.
Robert Rodriguez doesn’t give a shit anymore.
“Machete Kills” picks up a while after “Machete” and finds former Federale turned blade-wielding vigilante (Danny Trejo) with his partner/lover, Immigrations Agent Rivera (Jessica Alba), storming an arms deal. After a bloody shootout and two spectacular decapitations, Rivera is killed by a luchador with a ray gun. Machete is almost lynched by angry rednecks, but is saved and recruited by the President, played by relative newcomer, Carlos Estevez. What follows is a bloody, gruesome, ass-kicking, heart-pounding, blade-fuelled, cleavage-driven thrill ride throughout Mexico and the southern US. Machete has to stop a Che wannaba from nuking Washington. A face-changing assassin is on his trail. Hookers with tit-guns pop out of every corner, and Mel Gibson sports a wardrobe left over from “Moonraker”. All is well.
Machete don’t tweet.
Let’s start by saying this isn’t a movie you can simply critique by the same standards as any other film. It simply doesn’t fit, or even try to fit into anything resembling quality filmmaking. Nor is it completely amateur crap. It’s just… something else. A throwback to the exploitative grindhouse flicks of the 70s, “Machete Kills” takes that framework and goes so over the top with it that it ceases to fall into the category of parody, and becomes a sort of self-parodying super-dose of aggravated eye-assault. We’re bombarded with swinging blades, bloodied corpses, and mind-numbing one-liners that’ll have you laughing so hard you cease to make sound.
Danny Trejo is a hideous man, but he’s always such a joy to watch. He walks through his movies with such a hard case attitude of mumbling “I-don’t-give-a-fuck-ness”. It’s just fantastic. For a 69-year old man (eat your heart out Sly), he can still inspire fear in his enemies and unadulterated testosterone boosts in his audience. The rest of the cast is so random and seemingly misplaced, but it all just sort of works. Worth noting is Walton Goggins brief but memorable appearance as the aforementioned face-changing assassin. Every word out of that man’s mouth is gold. Sofia Vergara wields her impressive mammaries as mini-mini-guns, complete with Rodriguez’s patented strap-on revolver (of “Desparado” and “From Dusk Til Dawn” fame). Charlie Sheen is ridiculous as the foul-mouthed President, but it’s still pretty entertaining. Mel Gibson even turns out a likable performance as the space-obsessed super-villain bent on destroying the planet and moving to. It’s his craziest role since Riggs. Or the sugar-tits incident.
Machete KILLS! That’s what he does.
The movie serves up exactly what it promises. Machete cuts. Shit. Up. He slices dozens of men into pieces, and still finds the time to bed Amber Heard in a hilarious “3D” sex scene (so bring glasses). Robert Rodrigues has seemingly stepped away from real filmmaking and is currently content with this amusing rubbish. And that’s fine for now. It’s fun. It’s refreshing. It’s two hours where you can sit down, switch off, watch a bunch of idiots “fuck with the wrong Mexican”, and cackle at the results. It’s good time to be had by all.