Movie Reviews

'Machete Kills' (2013) Movie Review

Machete don't entertain

Machete Kills movie review
Danny Trejo in Machete Kills
Photo: Open Road Films

For the second time this year a sequel is released by a different studio than where the franchise originated. The first was Kick-Ass 2, which suffered a brief box office existence, and I'm afraid the second such sequel is unlikely to fair much better. Machete Kills is the sequel to the now three-year-old original and six-year-old faux trailer that spawned the titular ex-Federale played by Danny Trejo. My lack of interest and low expectations helped me enjoy the first one, but the same can't be said for this second go 'round, which is the lackluster exploitation film I expected the first to be.

'Machete Kills'
Review
Grade: C-

Machete Kills"Machete Kills" is a Open Road Films release, directed by and is rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and some sexual content. The running time is .

The cast includes , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

For more information on this film including pictures, trailers and a detailed synopsis .

Beginning with yet another fake trailer for what would be a third film in the franchise, Machete Kills Again... In Space, the audience is tipped off as to where this second film will be headed before it even begins, not to mention made to expect much more of the same. While the first film, I felt, worked as a send up of the grindhouse films it was homaging, the franchise now feels like nothing more than a montage of marketing stunts, few of which feel independent of each other. Then come to find out the same tired punchlines are recycled once again reminds us why films like this no longer exist.

How many border jokes do we need to hear before director Robert Rodriguez realizes his entire first film already used up the quota? How many times does William Sadler need to call Trejo's Machete "Taco" before it's just not that funny, if it ever was? And where the first film found a catch phrase in "Machete don't text," the sequel takes it one step further. Now Machete don't tweet, fail or entertain.

Rodriguez, working from a script by Kyle Ward, manages to only find some amusement over the course of a lengthy 107-minute running time where I knew we were in for a long haul after the opening seconds and finally checked my watch 50 minutes later.

As we would expect and come to enjoy, rubber heads bounce to the floor after Machete promptly decapitates a group of thugs. This gratuitous violence and other examples continue to work, just as does an assassin by the name of the Chameleon who changes faces again, and again, and again to varying levels of amusement.

I also liked the corny idea of having the bad guy (Demian Bichir) tie the launch of a nuclear missile targeting the White House to his heart, but I think it was more because of Bichir's performance than anything else. More than anyone, Bichir appears to be having a lot of fun as he plays a villain with multiple personality disorder in conjunction with short term memory loss. These little plot nuggets are fun, but they are too few and far apart to sustain such a bloated feature.

Along with the border jokes, the film continues its ability to mine humor and actors well past their prime and pop culture significance with the addition of Charlie Sheen as the President of the United States and Mel Gibson as villain #2. Then there's Sophia Vergara, an actress whose talent seems limited to her cup size, which is, I guess, why Rodriguez felt it was best to equip her with a machine gun brassiere and a 50-caliber "strap on". Oh, how you'll laugh and laugh... or at least let out a forced chuckle?

If I were to go back and watch Machete a second time I expect I would be just as disinterested as I was with Machete Kills. The time has passed, which is why it surprises me Open Road Films felt it was a good idea to back a sequel when 20th Century Fox felt it was a franchise best left dead.

Everyone involved appears to be having fun and this is hardly a film worth hating, but when I go to the theater I hope to walk away feeling far more entertained than I did here, especially with a film as ridiculous as this one where pretty much anything goes. Star Wars jokes and Mel Gibson's not-so-veiled commentary on his own fall from his place among the stars isn't clever, but just another example of how Machete's fifteen minutes are up.

GRADE: C-
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  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

    That's disappointing to hear, I was hoping it would at least be a fun movie. I probably won't be seeing it in theatres but I might rent it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

    I refuse to believe this. As Andyluvsfilms knows, this is probably gonna be the Godfather: Part II of cinema.

    #GetDatTrejo #MacheteSWAG

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/andyluvsfilms/ andyluvsfilms

      You'll be lucky if it's Father Of The Bride part II #Boom

  • robotsrule

    If I didn't see the first Machete will I "get" Machete Kills?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Hudsucker/ Hudsucker

    Looks like Rodriguez has been on a down streak with his sequels. Fingers crossed on Sin City 2.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/andyluvsfilms/ andyluvsfilms

    I'll probably rent this when i need a distraction from a big pile of ironing. Perhaps that could be another genre.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Torryz/ Torryz

    This probably should have gone straight to dvd where I will be watching it.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/maja/ maja

    Does anyone remember 6-7 years ago when Robert Rodriguez was seen as a fanboy favorite and the internet would go hype-crazy whenever he said anything? It kind of reminds me of the way that Del Toro is seen these days...hopefully he won't go in the same direction.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Newbourne/ Newbourne

      Really? I don't remember this at all. He's always been a shitty director. His first films were pretty awful (Four Rooms, The Faculty) and he followed that up with the HORRIBLE Spy Kids trilogy. In between, he did the Mariachi trilogy which some people enjoy, but it's not really that great. From Dusk Til Dawn is probably his best film but that's not really saying much.

      He has followed that up with "Machete", "Shark Boy and Lava Girl", "Spy Kids 4", "Shorts" and now this.

      I don't see how he could ever be a fanboy favorite with that type of filmography.

      The Mariachi trilogy wasn't that good, and even if people were looking forward to it, I bet it was with a grain of salt considering Rodriguez did those awful first films of his.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/m1/ m1

        Spy Kids 4 is indeed awful, but the other ones in that series (at least the first two) were actually pretty good. Shame that franchise rolled downhill so quickly.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Newbourne/ Newbourne

          Agree to disagree. Spy Kids 3 was probably one of the worst cinematic experiences I've ever had. I still don't think it can ever be topped in "worst Green Screen scenes" in movie history. It was cringe-worthy.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

    I just cant wait for Machete to be forgotten. The pop ups on RoS are non-stop!

  • Rolling Stone

    If you're a fan of going to the movies to check out your brain and have some fun then Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills is the movie for you! Rodriguez shows he's still got it and brings back the old gang with a few new saucy extras!