Machete Kills - Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
ROBERT Rodriguez’s Machete Kills might just be the best bad movie of the year – but that isn’t saying much.
A continuation of the director’s passion for exploitation cinema that first began with Grindhouse and was continued with the original Machete, this overblown sequel is knowingly absurd and quite often rubbish.
But a game and very starry cast continually keep it watchable and Rodriguez does manage to throw in the odd surprise and a couple of decent laughs.
The ‘story’ this time around finds revered and indestructible outlaw Machete (Danny Trejo) recruited by the US President (Charlie Sheen, for the first time using his birth name of Carlos Estevez) to prevent an imminent attack on the US by a notorious drug baron Mendez (Demian Bichir).
But Machete’s subsequent investigation uncovers a bigger plot being masterminded by billionaire businessman Voz (Mel Gibson).
En route to saving the day, Machete must also encounter a busty but duplicitous CIA agent (Amber Heard), a scheming brothel manager with a machine gun bra (Sofia Vergara), a corrupt border sheriff (William Sadler) and a constantly appearance altering hitman (played by an array of actors from Cuba Gooding Jr to Lady Gaga).
Part of the ‘fun’ of watching Rodriguez’s film unfold is seeing just how OTT the comedic violence becomes, especially given the disposability of just about every guest star.
And, to be fair, the screenplay does throw in one or two decent twists and some outrageously fun gags (a couple of which will delight Star Wars fans) and which owe more than a passing nod to the antics of 007 (and Moonraker in particlar).
The cast, too, seem to be having fun and play things with tongues firmly in cheeks, with Gibson, Bichir and Sheen all standing out.
But problems still exist with the main character, who is quite often lost in his own film and too bullet proof to generate any sense of peril. Trejo is also afforded little or no opportunity to flesh out the character or inject as much humour as he needs.
And as self-consciously crap or cheap or exploitative as some moments are, you may well still question the film’s real worth… and then feel exploited yourself.
Machete Kills does retain a car crash quality throughout if only to see how bad or ridiculous things become (as well as which big name star will cameo next). But with an open end designed to pave the way for the final part of the trilogy, it’s difficult to see how a third film won’t be a complete waste of everyone’s time and goodwill.
Running time: 107mins
UK Release Date: October 11, 2013