Here we go again, another cheap mex-ploitation film by Austin Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. “Machete Kills”. It’s cartoon-ish, ultra-violent, but the audience can’t help but laugh. The film is filled with serial killers, hit men (and women) and perversion of all sort; but the one thing that holds “la bola de masa” together is the iconic character of Machete. He is the ultimate macho, that is very hard, if not impossible to kill. If you have seen one Machete, you’ve seen them all. The iconic face carved in granite. The deep crevices that run through his ruined face go deep, down to his core. Danny Trejo, throughout his career, has always played one version of Machete or another, even before there was a “Machete”. I would say that he has the part down. Perhaps it is the part he was born to play.
If it were taken seriously, “Machete Kills” would be a dark depressing film. Director Rodriguez does know when to lighten his touch, and let the “grim” rise into a “grin” or even to laughing out loud.
The plot, such as it is, has Machete working with “The Network” a shadowy bunch of Latinos that are all about fighting for “Immigrant Rights”. What exactly they do is not explained in much detail, but it doesn’t really matter. Any one that takes this, or the original “Machete” seriously, is making a mistake, and ruining a perfectly good exploitation film for him or her self.
Most of the characters from the original Machete are back in the sequel. Except for the Anglo characters, who not only get killed off, but tend to stay dead. Robert Rodriguez does have a stable of loyal actors that seemingly will follow him anywhere.
Machete is recruited by the president of the United States (It was great to see Charlie Sheen again, billed this time though as “Carlos Estevez”) The plot couldn’t get much more schlock, with an insane Mexican drug lord to deal with, and an even more insane criminal overlord who in a fit of typecasting genius turns out to be Mel Gibson. There’s clones, boob and crotch guns, a madwoman serial murderer and brothel Madame, and a human chameleon hit man that can also become Lady Gaga. (See what I mean about taking the film too seriously. This is what many reviewers do, and it is a terminal mistake in their analysis).
I could mention a lot more things, but then that would be sort of like letting little spoilers out of the bag, Needless to say, a great time was had by all.
Oh, there is every indication that there will be more “Machete” sequels. One can’t help but notice that a lot of Rodriguez’s shtick is going into repeat mode. If you are familiar with Robert Rodriguez’s work you can’t help but notice.
If you like this sort of thing please go see it. If you are too grown up and adult, see something else; perhaps just as schlocky and silly, but with more redeeming value.
I’m not proud to be saying it, but for myself, I like this sort of spicy messy guacamole type of movie. A lot of people do.
Machete Danny Trejo
Michelle Rodriguez Luz
Sofia Vergara Desdamona
Mel Gibson Voz
Carlos Estevez The President
Charlie Sheen The President
Demian Bichir Insane Drug Lord
Directed by Robert Rodriguez