Machete Kills is first sequel to Robert Rodriguez’s Machete, which comes out of the Grindhouse project he had with his good chum Quentin Tarantino. That project wasn’t very successful for both them cause the film flopped quite badly in the US. The films that were originally a double bill were later released as stand alone films in international territories. I actually prefer the Machete films than the films released as part of Grindhouse cause they really are sleazy action films, which was the original intention of the original concept.
The plot is basically Machete (played by Danny Trejo) is hired by President Charlie Sheen (credited by his real name of Carlos Estévez) to be sent down to Mexico to exterminate an arms dealer. Mel Gibson plays the arms dealer Luther Loz quite brilliantly over the top. Naturally from the opening scene to the film’s ridiculous it’s a fun bit of campy action fun in the vein of John Carpenter’s films especially Escape From a New York.
Machete Kills has everything you kind expect from Robert Rodriguez it’s has the cartoonish violent but always without it becoming gratuitous. Rodriguez has always been conscious of having equally strong female characters as the male ones in his action films and this is no exception which Michelle Rodriguez’s returning as Luz, the ass kicking leader of the illegal immigrate aid movement. Some critics somehow labelled the film sexist but the women are as strong as the men throughout the film and are never damsels in distress.
Machete Kills is a bit too long, could use a cut of about 15 minutes and doesn’t have the freshness of the original casting such as Steven Seagal. One of my biggest criticisms is a lot of actors do extended cameos throughout such as Cuba Gooding Jr, Lady Gaga and Antonia Banderas as the shape shifting hitman Chameleon which are distracting. Charlie Sheen could have also used more screen time cause some of the film’s biggest laughs come from his scenes.
The good side of the film however is it has no pretentions of something grander than a Friday night action packed cult classic, which Rodriguez is many ways, is the modern master of the genre. Danny Trejo is also clearly has a ball with his signature character. Overall it’s a worthy sequel which some critics has said has run it’s steam but Machete Kills in Space looks like a riot.
Lionsgate Films UK
BD/DVD Release Date:
17th February 2014 (UK)
Danny Trejo, Alexa PenaVega, Mel Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez,Charlie Sheen
Buy Machete Kills: Blu-ray [+ UV copy] or DVD [Amazon]