Run time: 107 mins
In Theaters: Friday 11th October 2013
Box Office USA: $7.9M
Distributed by: Open Road
Production compaines: Demarest Films, Aldamisa Entertainment, 1821 Pictures, Overnight Films, AR Films, Quick Draw Productions
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Fresh: 33 Rotten: 80
IMDB: 5.7 / 10
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Screenwriter: Kyle Ward
Starring: Danny Trejo as Machete Cortez, Mel Gibson as Luther Voz, Amber Heard as Miss San Antonio, Michelle Rodriguez as Luz, Sofía Vergara as Desdemona, Jessica Alba as Sartana, Tom Savini as Osiris Amanpour, Lady Gaga as La Camaleon, Vanessa Hudgens as Cereza, Cuba Gooding Jr. as El Camaleon, Demián Bichir as Mendez, Charlie Sheen as Mr. President, Antonio Banderas as El Camaleon, Walton Goggins as El Camaleon, William Sadler as Sheriff Doakes, Crystal Martinez as Wife of Mendez, Alexa PenaVega as KillJoy, Billy Blair as Billy
Robert Rodriguez returns to Grindhouse territory with this B-movie spoof sequel that mixes hilariously knowing jokes with painfully stiff storytelling. Fans of the genre will love it, but those expecting a sense of narrative momentum will find themselves bored when the plot stalls about halfway in. And the rampant misogynistic smirking should be too much for anyone.
After the events of the 2010 original (which itself was based on a mock-trailer from 2007's Grindhouse double bill), the former Mexican agent Machete (Trejo) has been secretly working with US Immigration. After a bust goes badly wrong, he is assigned by the US President (Sheen, performing under his birth-name Carlos Estevez) to capture psychotic drug kingpin Mendez (Bichir) in Mexico. Working with his beauty-queen contact (Heard), he heads into the danger zone pursued by the master-of-disguise Camaleon and immediately running afoul of a vindictive brothel madame (Vergara). Along the way he discovers that the real villain is a defence contractor (Gibson) back in America, so he asks his former partner-in-crime (Michelle Rodriguez) for some help.
Every scene overflows with hyper-violent action and near-naked babes with guns. And the fast-paced mayhem is frequently played out as wacky slapstick, with movie in-jokes and a general sense of chaos. Aside from the amusingly straight-faced Trejo, the actors play everything for laughs. Gibson chomps mercilessly on the scenery during his overlong scenes, while Sheen plays with his own personal history while winking knowingly to the camera. There's also a continuous parade of A-list cameos, including Gaga, Gooding and Banderas hamming up their silly scenes for all they're worth.
But it's such a mess that playing spot-the-star is the most enjoyable thing about the film. The whizzy pace stalls badly once we get to Gibson's lair, with dull expository dialog that bores us with the pointlessly over-complicated workings of the plot. Still, Rodriguez peppers the film with inspired gags and even makes some pointed political comments along the way. And from the prologue teaser trailer for Machete Kills Again ... In Space, we already know that our indestructible hero will be back. Possibly with Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio as costars. Keep your fingers crossed.