Machete Kills is the follow up to the 2010 film Machete. Originally conceived as a faux trailer that was part of Grindhouse in 2007, the original was a campy action flick starring Danny Trejo as an ex-Federale skillfully wielding a machete, of course. This time around bigger names like Amber Heard (Remember, Machete is suave with the ladies!) and Lady Gaga join the cast, making it sound like it may be even more epic than the original. However, the sequel is more or less the same thing, only campier.
Much like Mr. Disgusting stated in the review of the original, it is hard to rely on Danny Trejo to carry an entire movie. Of course, along with the above-mentioned ladies, Mel Gibson appears as ‘is he good or is he bad?’ Voz, Michelle Rodriguez returns as Luz, and Charlie Sheen (billed as his birth name, Carlos Estevez) is the President (he even throws in a “winning”). Machete Kills still simply caters to a specific audience. That is: fans of the original.
Yet, Machete Kills delivers exactly what you would expect of it. It is like a Telemundo production of an over the top James Bond-esque spoof…on acid. The action includes plenty of gore but, like the film’s villain El Camaleón’s constantly changing his face, this story still has many layers to think through. There are multiple storylines that are happening that all play into Machete’s mission in the movie, though all of it seems to be overshadowed by Trejo. Right from the beginning when the film starts with a trailer for Machete Kills Again…In Space, Trejo’s looming, weather worn presence fills the screen. Yes, he is the title character, but combined with the goofy storyline, it is hard to even begin to take Trejo seriously, let alone Machete. He is somehow just larger than life.
Despite the ridiculous premise and characters, Machete Kills is obviously much loved by writer/director Robert Rodriguez. The film is shot and edited well, even with a large amount of green screen used. Everything from sets to weapons are elaborate and vibrant. The Blu-ray release captures the movie at the theatrical value and includes a few extras. The “Deleted and Extended Scenes” bonus is exactly as titled. Numerous sequences, some of which are indeed longer than they should be. Definitely best they cut some of them down. There is also a making of featurette which is enjoyable and offers some insight.
Machete Kills is just slightly better than mediocre, compared to the original. While it did evolve from a spoof trailer, the concept simply is goofy and has to be taken with a grain of salt, or perhaps a couple of shots of tequila. If you are a fan of the original, and can laugh at something even more hokey, then definitely give it a watch.