Machete Kills (2013)

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Just barnstorming, crazy action and B-movie silliness from top to bottom, I like this sequel, nowhere near as much as the 2010 film but something in the weird side of my brain let me enjoy this and though it gets long and dragged down by odd attempts at multi-connecting plots it’s a fun ride.

After his partner gets killed Machete (Danny Trejo) is called by the President of the US (Carlos Estevez) to track down a mad schizophrenic leader called Marcos Mendez (Demian Bichir) who has hot wired a missile to his person to go off and destroy Washington. On his mission he’s helped by handler Blanca (Amber Heard) and the return of She/Luz (Michelle Rodriguez) as he battles cartels, a vengeful man-eating brother keeper and time itself to get across the Mexican border.

Now, this film isn’t a step up at all, it only steps up the insane amounts of kills and explosions. The story itself, bashed together by Robert and Marcel Rodriguez is stupid. End of. It goes on far too long and you do feel it a couple of times and the way they keep feeding in other characters and have them going after the bounty on Machete and Mendez’s heads gets bonkers. Take it with a pinch of salt however and the story of shifting personalities, bodies and a plot to enter space becomes hugely entertaining.

It has some very funny moments, the comedy placed nicely along with the Grindhouse Mexplotaiton cinema blend. Props and costuming feature as comedic tools, i.e Madame Desdemona’s chest cannons and her pelvic pistol. The way it’s filmed stays in keeping with the small schlock-fest vibe and grainy frames heighten this way of movie making. The trailer beforehand and flashing instructions for 3D glasses make it feel like a tacky drive in movie and that somehow works to its benefit.

In opposition to this, I also believe, strongly that ‘Machete Kills’ is also ludicrously unintentionally funny. A lot of ideas feel out of place and even too much for this mega filled narrative. It also looks a lot cheaper than the first film did, blood splatters and CGI work being blindingly obvious. I know that’s most likely the point but ‘Machete’ didn’t feel so rushed or cheap, it looks like a cleverly constructed action art-house film in comparison.

The characters are all pretty genius though and the film revels in getting a former actor turned viral pothead sensation to play the leader of the free world! A chameleon character literally changes their appearance whenever seen, very silly but a sneaky way for extra cast I guess. The brothel girls are powerful yet scantily clad in their marching quest to kill men. A schizo leader gets odd back-story and plays panto in being over the top to oppose the silent grouchy Machete, ever brilliant as ruthless, handy with blades and against twitter. Genius again is this film for getting former actor turned talked about racist to play the big baddie of the film. All in all the colorful characters make the film more spectacular and cartoonish.

Danny Trejo is Machete, he plays the non-shifting presence of the titular character with enough grit and creased expressions to make you believe Machete exists. Sofia Vergara is a sheer delight of insanity as man-eater Desdemona, her screeches and angry calls to hunt down Machete are brilliantly done and the character calls for selling it as it’s so out there and sell it she does. Amber Heard is sex on legs as beauty pageant candidate and handler for Machete. The glamour puss look as she kicks ass and smiles her way through give her enough time to play Amber Heard with possible degree of nasty. Carlos or Charlie ‘Winning’ Sheen gets big screen time after his Adonis DNA trip and there’s expected funny lunacy to him playing the President. Mel Gibson is actually a perfect villain and he plays another bat-poo character that somehow is left with the ability to see the future. The snarls and cold eyed reserve he keeps when playing against the hero are great and he stands out, lifting the film after a large messy slump.

Tainting the original, this film gets too crowded in plot and character, the way it smartly parodied things before now get tiresome and are done to machete-ridden death. Though it’s fun, more violent and a joyride you know you shouldn’t take pleasure in but do.

5.5/10

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