Thursday, January 14, 2016

Machete Kills!


Machete Kills came out a few years ago and I dutifully snapped it up on dvd and watched and enjoyed it. But it occurred to me recently that I'd never reviewed this snapper of a flick. So here goes.


This is not a movie for everyone. If you don't like crude humor, grotesque visual effects, or dogged pulp narrative techniques you will find this movie a drag indeed. It's filled with all the above, with a dash of sexist fervor included. All very firmly politically incorrect.


Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) is a man of justice, if not the law, who seems impossible to kill. He is contacted by the President of the United States (Carlos Estevez i.e. Charley Sheen) to go to Mexico (across the border wall which exists in this fictional world) and capture the terrorist/ drug dealer Mendez (Damien Bichir) and bring him to Washington so that he cannot follow through on his threat to bomb the U.S. capitol. Then things get complicated as we meet the true mastermind behind all the evil doings, a wealthy industrialist named Vox (Mel Gibson).  And I haven't even mentioned the face-changing assassin named "Chameleon".


There are many murders by gun, blade and otherwise to fill the screen as the death count rises faster than it's likely possible to count. All the time Machete remains snearingly stone-faced through the mayhem, a parody of stalwart courage. The action of Machete Kills is bigger than its predecessor, more high-octane and so less potent eventually as always the power of violence is in its ability to keep the watcher connected. This movie becomes a cartoon quickly, so the mayhem is merely a visual spectacle which has little or no emotional connection after the first few minutes of the movie. That's fine for the movie this is, but ultimately it robs the movie of any sense of empathy from the audience, so while we are entertained, we are not necessarily moved.


Machete Kills is fun, and worth your time, but it's not as memorable alas as was the original Machete, despite its relentless drive to out perform its predecessor.

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7 comments:

  1. I admit it. The Machete flicks are one of my greatest guilty pleasures. I guess it's the 70s fan in me that digs the whole grind-house throwback vibe...

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    1. From the moment the coming attractions music starts playing I'm all in. Rodriquez really knows how to evoke that vintage feel.

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  2. Watched this a few months back. The script just didn’t seem to take itself seriously toward the end, going more for laughs and a yeah, right vibe that was just kind of insulting to the viewer. Danny Trejo was fun and the chicks were hot, but ultimately this was a disappointment. Have to wonder whatever happened with the sequel promised at the end ‘Machete Kills Again in Space’ – or maybe that was a joke too…Danny at 71, has to be nearing the end of his action-hero shelf-life as well…

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    1. Trejo opened a taco place in LA this week. I doubt he does day to day stuff there though

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    2. I'd agree that the self-parody in this one is more apparent and that hurts the internal narrative. This has to be done straight, with a grudging wink perhaps now and again, but not too much. The second one gets a bit too broad.

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  3. I loved the first one, havent seen this one though

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    1. Danny Trejo is a guy who seems to love livin' life. He's been down and now he's up. It's nice to see it all so thoroughly appreciated, much better than the ennui that permeates vapid exposes like what we see on the Kardashians and elsewhere.

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