Trained to kill, left for dead, back for more.
Danny Trejo returns as Machete Cortez in Robert Rodriguez's grindhouse-inspired action comedy sequel. The grizzly Mexican one-man army is recruited by the President of the United States (Charlie Sheen, billed as Carlos Estevez) to take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. Also stars a machine gun breast-plated Sophia Vergara, Mel Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lady Gaga.
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BY Tony Stamp Flicks Writer
I admire Robert Rodriguez' approach to making movies. He shoots quickly, works off the cuff and pulls off the sort of casting that makes you think he's probably a fun guy to be around. His films aim to be fun too and when his technique works you end up with something great like Sin City. Sometimes though, you end up with a damp squib like Machete Kills.... More
The first Machete introduced a great character (the titular Federal), and also felt like it had something to say politically, albeit with a smirk. This one just sort of ambles from scene to scene with no connecting thread, rehashing beats that worked better the first time around.
It doesn't help that the faux-grindhouse aesthetic has well and truly worn out its welcome. Rodriguez seems to be hoping viewers will excuse shoddy storytelling and dire SFX if we view things through a layer of nostalgia and irony. But the exploitation filmmakers of the '70s were doing the best they could with the few resources they had, and Rodriguez barely seems to be trying at all. The result is like a Funny Or Die sketch that goes on for way too long.
Danny Trejo barely even registers this time, despite being in nearly every scene. He's outshone by the only reason to watch this thing - the supporting cast. The likes of Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen and Sofia Vergara acquit themselves well, dialling up their performances to hambone levels to good effect. But it's Mel Gibson's evil genius who really shines, a reminder that he has a hugely magnetic screen presence even when he's just goofing around.
Novelty casting aside, there's not much here to recommend unfortunately. I can't help but hope Rodriguez takes the whole 'making a movie' thing a bit more seriously next time.Hide
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BY JackWallace superstar
BY adamatdramatrain superstar
The original trailer was amongst the best of the great 'Grindhouse' trailers - a fun pastiche of tacky violent... More over the top exploitation genre flicks. Oh, how we hoped the full-length version would be as fun as Rodriguez's 'Planet Terror.' Instead, the first 'Machete' was a damp squib, barely living up to the fun and frolics promised by the trailer and squandering both its potential and its cast - with actors such as Robert de Niro given bugger all to do.
Now Danny Trejo's back in the titular role of Machete. Yes, he's back - and he's a mess. The best thing about this dire sequel are the cameos. Mel Gibson chewing scenery as the bad guy; Charlie Sheen a guaranteed giggle as the US President; Sophia Vergara with a machine gun bra; Lady Gaga being gaga alongside the likes of Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba and Cuba Gooding Jr. But, spot the star aside; it's a poorly executed, badly scripted, tired and bumpy ride that was so so much better as a two-minute trailer.
Like the "found footage" genre, grindhouse homage / pastiche films such as 'Hobo With a Shotgun' and 'Death Proof' have become tired pretty quickly. They're not dead genres yet - but if this is the quality we're to expect - they soon will be.
As for 'Machete Kills'? Time to hung up the blade, Danny and Rob. It was fun, for two-minutes.
Another case of great trailer - shame about the movie :(Hide