Machete Kills Movie Review
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.
Cast & Crew
Director : Robert Rodriguez
Screenwriter : Kyle Ward