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.