'Machete Kills' Review: Everything The First Movie Should Have Been
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'Machete Kills' Review: Everything The First Movie Should Have Been

By Agent Bedhead | Film Reviews | October 11, 2013 | Comments ()


I feel a kindred spirit of sorts to Robert Rodriguez. Most of the time, we’re both stuck in kiddie land of our own volition. Then when we decide it’s time to play with adults, we’re both so slap happy that we continue acting like 15-year-old reprobates. Truth be told, Machete Kills isn’t any more of a grown-up viewing experience than, say, Spy Kids 4. But it is a lot more fun and kills more braincells to boot.

No one expects seriousness from a movie featuring Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, Lady Gaga, and Sofia Vergara’s rack. I wouldn’t speak so blatantly about the rack, but Sofia’s nips shoot bullets. This seems like a natural progression for a filmmaker who once attached a M4 carbine to Rose McGowan’s severed leg. The machine gun boobs are truly ridiculous, but they reflect the entire mood of this sequel to 2010’s Machete. Truth be told, I never intended upon watching the second installment because I found the first one far too misguidedly political and full of poorly executed satire. The good news is that Machete Kills drops the serious stuff and gets on with the order of the day — gleeful idiocy and abundant violence. That is, this movie indulges Robbie Rod’s inner teenager in a very R-rated manner. These dumb movies are his inside joke to Hollywood, and he’s somehow found enough of an audience to keep funding them. At this point, the second film is essentially a joke within a joke within a joke. It’s really best not to even semi-analyze the story, the characters, or anything at all.

Last time around, Machete (Danny Trejo, one of the most prolific character actors in Hollywood) trotted off into the sunset of his own mythical making. Now he’s back to save the world (really) from nuclear destruction. POTUS (Charlie Sheen, really) calls Machete into action (with the renewed offer of citizenship) to take care of a missile-threatening Mendez (Demian Bichir), whose weapon of choice is programmed to launch at the precise moment of his death. Mendez is operating at the behest of arms manufacturer Voz (Mel Gibson). That’s basically the entire plot, and Machete spends the entirety of the movie defending himself from various henchmen and henchwomen while taking a little time out here and there for da ladies.

The women of this movie are, of course, ridiculously portrayed. Vergara’s boobs play the leader of a brothel, and her performance is typically over the top and exaggerated even more so for this director’s benefit. She’s also the proud owner of a strap-on dildo gun which she uses with much abandon. Amber Heard shakes it as an undercover agent with an impressive cache of weaponry. Lady Gaga, oh, forget her. Fortunately, taco slinger Michelle Rodriguez is back as Luz, the one vaguely glimmering beacon of womanhood in the entire fucking franchise. RR’s treatment of women is moderately offensive (even the POTUS bangs more than chick at a time), but he’s never claimed otherwise. Fortunately, Rodriguez paints his male characters just as stupidly, so it all gets funnelled into a low-rent bouillabaisse of nastiness. Which is fine if you’re into that sort of thing.

Overall, Machete Kills is a lot less serious than its predecessor, and it just might be the movie you were expecting to see the first time around. Basically, it’s good for a good time. I’d advise being either drunk or stoned for the experience, or perhaps saving the film for a drinking game at home where one can get sloppy while counting the endless stream of cameos, including a dash of Walton Goggins (which is always fun). Mel Gibson has one hell of a good time playing the ultimate cartoonish bad guy. This feels like the role he’s been careening towards for the entire past decade of his real-life insanity.

Machete Kills is absolutely nothing of consequence, and I’m not sure that it should have been made, but far be it from me to say that Robert Rodriguez’s little pet movies have no right to exist. Here’s a filmmaker who’s answering to no almost one, and that’s something to be celebrated. Unlike Michael Bay, Rodriguez recognizes that throwing a bunch of explosions haphazardly into a movie doesn’t make him the ultimate artist. The problem is that Rodriguez never knows when to stop — the movie wears thin about 10 minutes before the credits roll. Hopefully, you’ll have passed out from the drinking game before then.

Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • MacheteKillsAgain...inSpace

    Best Movie in the World

  • loganbowes

    Machete Kills was awful. The first one was campy fun. In fact, it was the most fun I had in a theater since I experienced Grindhouse. This one was dogshit. First off, it wasn't written by Robert Rodriguez, which probably explains a lot. Yeah, it was waaay over the top, but it was just a retread of all the gags they made in the first movie, except cornier and less creative.

    The violence would've been fine, had it not looked like it was digitally done by a college student. I literally recognized blood effects you can download for Adobe After Effects. This was poorly made, the story (while intentionally bad) was convoluted and mostly unnecessary, and the gags were terrible. They used a "Winning" joke with Charlie Sheen for Christ's sake. How hamhanded can you get with your writing? This was amateur hour and I can't believe Robert Rodriguez actually directed this.

    The first Machete was ridiculous fun and totally silly, but at least it told a story. Machete Kills was like someone sat in a room and said "Okay how do I one up the first movie's silliness?" and then wrote a bunch of bullshit on a wall and threw darts at them and just decided to film whatever they nailed. Machete Kills was a boring, convoluted, mostly unnecessary mess. And clocking in at around 1hr 50min meant it was about 30 minutes too long. It was a complete waste of my time.

    RT has it right... Machete: 72%; Machete Kills: 30%.

    But it's cool, because Machete don't [insert something normal people do because they make this joke like half a dozen times in the movie].

  • Joe Bing

    I agree, this movie sucked! I wish I had have exchanged my ticket for "Gravity."

  • Dragonchild

    I don't think this post accurately reflects what these movies SHOULD be. If anything the first movie wasn't campy enough, what with its political overtones leading toward a showdown at a redneck ranch for lack of pretty much any other meaningful place to cause a bunch of violence. A hero needs a supervillain; in the first movie's case it was about as climactic as James Bond going up against a high school bully. That was the better of the two?

    The second movie is of course going to use a lot of the same ingredients, and while they tone down the nudity (a bit of a WTF considering the violence and this is a homage to take-no-prisoners grindhouse trash), what else did you think they were going to throw up there, an empowered woman overcoming the loss of a loved one to battle breast cancer?

    I'll meet you halfway in that the second half of the movie started straying away from what was working (campy nonsensical violence) to set up a sequel. I also think the casting of Sheen was weak, and on the flip side the Chameleon sequences were so fun for me that I sorely wish they did more than make him a bit villain. But if your argument is that this movie sucks because it's a convoluted, unnecessary mess considering that's precisely what it's trying to be, I'd say you were never the target audience to begin with.

  • loganbowes

    The best way I should've put it is this:

    - Machete was a great homage to grindhouse movies

    - Machete Kills was like the "Scary Movie" of Grindhouse movies.

  • TheAggroCraig

    Strap-on dildo gun, you say? Is it anything like the codpiece revolver from Desperado and From Dusk Til Dawn?

  • Dragonchild

    That's pretty much EXACTLY what it is, and when I first saw it I rolled my eyes. But Sofia Vergara more than makes up for the shameless recycling. Despite her absurd role in a silly movie, her acting is one of the highlights of the film. She's really not that important to the plot but she embraces her role and pumps that strap-on with authority. It's kind of hard to genuinely compliment her performance without sounding idiotic considering what she was asked to do; she basically took an over-the-top role and knocked it out of the park. I'd compare it to Franco's performance in "Spring Breakers".

  • But does Michelle Rodriguez live? I'm already cheered by the fact she made it all the way to the sequel in something.

  • blacksred

    She was in 2 Resident evil's

  • Ben

    She still managed to die in the first one though.

  • Joe

    She didn't die in the first one. She gets shot in the eye, then she appears again, wearing her eyepatch.

  • Ben

    oh nah, I was talking about in the first Resident Evil, she dies in the first one then shows up again in like the fourth for... reasons I never found out because I couldn't be bothered watching the rest of the movie.

  • A. Smith

    She does... if you like Star Wars (I think I may have said too much).

  • Fredo

    I don't know. Machete: the movie trailer was a great 3 minute joke. Machete: the movie was less interesting (proving that you can run a joke into the ground). Can't see how Machete Kills improves on that.

    That said, I love Trejo and if it keeps Rodriguez from doing damage elsewhere, so be it. At least he's not trying to pass himself off as some sort of auteur.

  • Dragonchild

    It improves on it by actually being more true to the joke. But Rodriguez is offering the movie equivalent of an two-pound ultra-rare burger; if the last one was a little too well done for a grindhouse, "Machete Kills" will either be just what you wanted all along -- or it will make you physically ill.

  • Brian Merritt

    Drinking game you say? Accepted.

  • bastich

    I'm hoping that the third Machete movie is a crossover with another franchise.

    ("Machete vs. Black Dynamite"?)

  • crispin

    Now THIS I would see!

  • Bert_McGurt

    So is that what you'd call a Trejo-logy?

    (Also, my suggestion: Machete vs. Jason!)

  • L.O.V.E.

    Machete vs. Black Dynamite vs. Hebrew Hammer

    Machete cuts Dynamite, Dynamite blows up Hammer, Hammer breaks Machete. 1,2,3 shoot!

  • RilesSD

    Machete vs. The Expendables

    (or was he already in Expendables? Haven't seen them)

  • L.O.V.E.

    I have no idea if you meant " taco slinger Michelle Rodriguez" as a double-entendre, and I don't care. That's how I'm choosing to read it, and that line is perfection.

  • bastich

    I smell a spin-off!

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  • L.O.V.E.

    Nope. That's just the frijoles.

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