"Trained To Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill"
Machete Kills is the sequel to Robert Rodriguez grindhouse/exploitation cult classic which started as just a fake trailer attach to his and Quentin Tarantino's double feature Grindhouse(Planet Terror/Death Proof). If you thought that it couldn't get anymore crazier then the first Machete. Machete Kills...Kills again...and again.
Machete Kills begins with a trailer of the next installment Machete Kills Again: In Space which isn't that bad and actually looks like something I would want to see, there are characters from Machete Kills that we haven't seen yet that will be in the next one and a few that go along with Machete to continue his fight....enough about the fake trailer for a movie that may or may not actually be made and promoting certain actors who may or may not be involved.
This film begins with Agent Sartana (Jessica Alba) and Machete (Danny Trejo) busting up a arms deal between a group of soldiers and a drug cartel, in true Machete fashion things go to hell as the cartel shows up and a huge gun and machete battle breaks out, during the chaos Agent Sartana is killed by a masked man and Machete is once again left to take the blame.
Machete is taken by a crazy Sheriff (William Sadler) who hangs Machete but like the true other worldly figure that he is, Machete doesn't die...he can't die, while the Sheriff and his deputy watch Machete and he stares at them back, there is a phone call...From The President of the fucking United States (Carlos Estevez aka Charlie Sheen), he wants Machete in Washington D.C. ASAP.
President Rathcock,no joke that's the president name, well I guess President Bush was already taken LOL...anyway The President recruits Machete for another dangerous mission that only Machete can take on. he has to go to Mexico which thanks to events from the first movie has a wall up to separate the two countries and find Marco Mendez aka Marco The Madman (Demian Bichlr) who has a nuclear missile aimed right at the U.S. The President wants Mendez dead before he can launch the missile...sounds pretty easy right.
It's not that simple as Machete's handler for this mission is an undercover agent that does beauty pageants code name Miss San Antonio (Amber Heard) she lays out the details about Mendez and lays out a few other things as well for Machete in a true grindhouse fashion...you'll have to watch the movie for all of that....back to the mission. Machete is dropped into Mexico where the only way to get to Mendez is with the help of a young woman Cereza (Vanessa Hudgens) who is safe guarded by a gang of hookers led by Desdemona (Sofia Vergara) who doesn't make things any easier for Machete who manages to get the girl and finds himself face to face with Mendez.
Mendez isn't called The Madman for nothing because as Cereza explains Mendez has split personality issues one minute he is the real Mendez who isn't as bad a guy, but the next he can be The Madman who kills like the snap of the finger and doesn't care who he kills even if he loves them. and The Madman makes it even harder for Machete or anybody else to kill him since he has the missile linked to his heart so if he dies so will a lot of people.
Even though this is a grindhouse style action movie the acting isn't supposed to be really all that good, yet there are some standout performances here. Mel Gibson as Voz shows the world that he can still act even if its as a some what clichéd character but his almost no care in the world attitude to certain situations is what separates his characters from the rest that come from the same line.
I have to mention Walt Goggins, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lady Gaga, and Antonio Banderas who virtually play the same character who is only known as El Chameleon?La Chameleon is something you don't really see or even see how these four portray this character and its probably one of the most interesting characters in the movie...would like to see more of this character.
Sofia Vergara really showed me something as Desdemona the leader of the hooker gang, yes she is over the top with the different types of guns and way that she uses them, but any fans of her for what she does on Modern Family will be surprised at the mad woman that she is in a good way, its always good when actors/actresses get away from what they are known for doing and Vergara surely does that here.
My favorite character and acting job goes to Demian Bichlr as Mendez/The Madman now seeing him on Weeds as the drug cartel leader married to Nancy was one thing, seeing him on FXs The Bridge is good too but Bichlr as Mendez/The Madman is very Jekyll/Hyde he balances both personalities making you believe and even question which one he is at any giving moment if he played this type of role in a serious drama, no question in my mind he would get high praise for it.
There are quite a few of the regular players from the first movie to help support Machete namely Luz/She (Michelle Rodriguez), Tom Savini, The Avellan Twins aka The Crazy Babysitter Twins, Dr. Felix just to name a few.
I know its kinda tough to judge a movie's acting when the acting isn't supposed to be on a high level, just check out some real grindhouse style films to know exactly what I mean.
The directing in Machete Kills is a lot better then Machete for one and this is just a theory I have that Robert Rodriguez didn't direct much of the first film because why else was that other guy name mentioned as co director, if you have seen any of Rodriguez's other films you can tell the difference, Rodriguez here seems to have righted the ship in that department as things seem to flow a bit more naturally and there are a lot of Carpenter esque shots in his directing also a nice Mad Max shot with Mel Gibson as well.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
Is Machete Kills a great movie? No. but it is a fun movie that shouldn't be taken to seriously Its to bad really that Machete couldn't have come along when Danny Trejo was probably 20 years younger but then again he is the Mexican Charles Bronson so these films will go as long as there are some interest in them and as long as Trejo can continue.
After the movie there is a more legit trailer for Machete kills Again In Space which fits more in line with the events that play out in the movie, I do like the book end with the two trailers for this movie and also the Star Wars type of direction the movie starred to take and seems like the next one will continue on.
I thought it was the right move to kill off Jessica Alba's character in the beginning of this film because she doesn't fit in this grindhouse world, but from what I've seen of her in Sin City 2 she might just be fitting into that world better.
MY RATING 7/10
Mel Gibson- Voz
Demian Bichlr- Mendez/The Madman
Amber Heard-Miss San Antonio
Walt Goggins- El Chameleon
Cuba Gooding, Jr.-El Chameleon 2
Lady Gaga- La Chameleon
Antonio Banderas- El Chameleon 4
Tom Savini- Osiris
Charlie Sheen(Carlos Estevez)-President Rathcock
Jessica Alba- Agent Sartana