'Machete Kills' movie review

By Matthew Dagen,
It's What He Does...And He's Very Good At It
Author Rating: 
3.5 Stars

What started as a fake trailer for an introduction to his segment of the double-feature splatter-fest Grindhouse, Robert Rodriguez then threw a title card at the end of 2010's Machete claiming that Machete will return in Machete Kills. Three years later, Danny Trejo brought back out the big knife for another tale of sheer ridiculousness and pure fun as the titular character in the blood soaked sequel, Machete Kills.

Not that anyone is going to see this movie for the plot, there in fact is one. Machete is called in by the president (Charlie Sheen) to go down to Mexico to stop a revolutionary, Marcos Mendez (Demian Bechir, Weeds, The Bridge), from launching a nuke aimed at Washington. Along the way, Machete encounters all walks of life, most of who want to try and kill him, especially once he captures Mendez. Once Machete makes it back to the U.S., things take a decidedly sci-fi turn when Mel Gibson finally appears on screen as Voz, a weapons designer who is attempting to move the worthy to space to start over.

Re-joining Machete on his mission to rid the world of evil one body at a time is Luz (Michelle Rodriguez, The Fast & the Furious), the one-eyed leader of The Network. Machete is also introduced to a whole bunch of new characters this time around as well. Walton Goggins (Justified), Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Jerry Maguire), Antonio Banderas (Desperado) and Lady Gaga play assassins out to get both Mendez and Machete. Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) plays Miss San Antonio, Machete's handler who keeps herself close to the border by participating in a beauty pageant. Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) dons a machine gun bra to play Madame Desdemona, and Alexa Vega (Spy Kids) and Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers) play some of her working girls.

The aspect of the first Machete that made it so fun was the over-the-top nature of it. It didn't take itself seriously at all, and it reveled in that. Machete Kills manages to even outdo the first one in that regard. From the opening scene when Machete literally splits a man in half, then sticks his knife in an electrical box so he can fry someone, to the outlandish final showdown, there are so many over-the-top moments that it would be hard to pinpoint which one is the most out-there.

Out of the supporting cast, it seemed that Demian Bechir and Mel Gibson had the most fun with their roles, both of them playing the ridiculous villains you'd come to expect in cheesy action movies, but because of their acting backgrounds, it allows the viewer to enjoy how silly they're playing these characters. Bechir's Mendez, without spoiling too much, has a few different voices going in his head which allows him to more or less completely change his character from scene to scene, and that's not a bad thing. Gibson's Voz plays out like an old school Bond villain, and given the tonal shift of the latter part of the movie, that couldn't be a more accurate description.

If you enjoyed the first Machete, you'll certainly enjoy this one. It's more over-the-top, a bit more ridiculous (if that was even possible), and the villains are certainly more entertaining this time around. And, if you don't catch this one, how are you going to know what's going on when Machete Kills Again…In Space rolls around?

image: EPK

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