Machete Kills (2013)

Machete Kills (2013)
  • Time: 107 min
  • Genre: Action | Crime | Thriller
  • Director: Robert Rodriguez
  • Cast: Danny Trejo, Amber Heard, Mel Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Demian Bichir, Charlie Sheen, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr.


Ex-Federale agent Machete is recruited by the President of the United States for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man – he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet.


  • Machete Kills is nothing compared to the first flick. Danny Trejo is joined by more cameo appearances that Hollywood Squares game show. The characters portrayed by the big stars are not matched up to make them half way believable. Charlie Sheen as the President of the U.S. is like a TV sitcom and Sophia Vergara screeching through the sound system almost makes you want to plug your ears. There are too many serious dialogues between nutty characters in this action comedy. The first Machete was uniquely funny with the movie watcher waiting for the next scene to scream laughing. This flick has you nodding off between scenes and has you wondering how much each actor got paid for their second rate performances.

  • The story behind Machete Kills started in 2007 with Quentin Tarantino’s/Robert Rodriguez’s exploitation double-feature Grindhouse. Before each segment, Planet Terror and Death Proof, trailers for fake movies were shown. One of these trailers was for a movie called Machete, which expanded into a feature film in 2010. The full length movie Machete was an enjoyable and fun experience, with a great and original concept behind it. However, the sequel, Machete Kills, is far from its predecessor and it’s a very disappointing movie – to say the least.

    The movie opens with Machete (Danny Trejo) and Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba) investigating an illegal weapon trade between the US army and the cartel. Predictably, a slaughter ensues and Sartana is killed by some masked men who enter the scene. Machete survives the shoot out and is eventually hired by the president of the US (Charlie Sheen, credited by his real name Carlos Estévez) to go to Mexico to find a terrorist who threatens to launch a missile at Washington D.C. Machete finds this crazy terrorist guy, whose name is Mendez (Demian Bichir), and he tries to bring him to the US while a bunch of mercenaries chase them and try to kill them to collect the bounty that’s been put on their heads.

    There are several ways in which you can create a comedy movie. One of them is creating a big budget, intentionally trash/grindhouse/so-bad-it’s-good movie. With movies like Planet Terror and Machete, Robert Rodriguez mastered this trade. Of course, he had incorporated some of these comic elements in his earlier movies too, but Planet Terror and Machete are prime examples of this genre of comedy. The problem is that these two movies are very recent, and I get the feeling that Rodriguez wasted all of his original comic ideas creating them. And that isn’t a shame. It’s never a shame to run out of original ideas after a few great movies. However, it is a shame to create such a bad movie like Machete Kills. Like I said, I think Rodriguez ran out of all of his grindhouse ideas after making his previous movies, and that is fine, but Machete Kills offers nothing but predictable, uninspiring and boring grindhouse jokes. Rodriguez already created two grindhouse movies, and if he can’t come up with more original and quality ideas for more grindhouse comedies anymore, he should have written Machete Kills as a slightly different kind of comedy (let’s say, a comedy revolving around a funny premise or funny character) that has a grindhouse feel to it, instead of forcing another pure grindhouse comedy. Machete Kills isn’t funny and since its only purpose is to be funny, it fails miserably. Sure, you will laugh here and there, but Machete Kills is more of a boring, tedious movie than an ‘enjoyable fun experience’ like its predecessor.

    The problem of Machete Kills, besides the bad jokes, is the bad writing overall. I know a movie like this is supposed to have a ludicrous story and undeveloped, cliched characters, but if I’m not laughing at the jokes, the movie should entertain me in some other way. Once again, I have nothing against inane, silly plots – if they are told in an interesting, engaging, original way. But Machete Kills’ dull, tiresome story and many pointless cameos were just too much of a snooze fest for me. The Machete franchise is getting another sequel – Machete Kills Again – which was announced and green lit during the period of release of the first movie. Hopefully, the bad critical reception of Machete Kills will discourage Rodriguez from making another Machete movie. It’s a shame that Machete Kills turned out the way it did since I had big hopes for it, but now I can only acknowledge it as one of this year’s biggest movie disappointments.

    Rating: 4/10

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  • Sometimes you go see a movie that you KNOW is not going to win any serious awards, has no redeeming social value and doesn’t take itself very seriously – at all. And it’s BECAUSE of all those reasons that you go – just because the movie is going to be fun to watch. You get all this with “Machete Kills” (R, 1:47). In 2007, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez created a movie called “Grindhouse”, a film which imitated the experience of going to a drive-in movie (ask your parents) to see two hyper-violent “B-movies”. “Grindhouse” contained two full-length films, which looked and felt like a 1970s-era double-feature, complete with wild faux trailers in between the movies. One of those trailers was for a movie called “Machete” with Danny Trejo playing a tough-guy named after his favorite weapon and included the tag line “They f****ed” with the wrong Mexican!” Well, the trailer got such a strong reaction from the audience that Robert Rodriguez actually made the movie! That was in 2010. In 2013, Rodriguez and Trejo teamed up again for a sequel.

    In “Machete Kills”, Trejo is saved from a vigilante sheriff by an almost-too-late phone call from the President of the United States (Charlie Sheen, billed in this film as Carlos Estevez). The President convinces Machete (pronounced ma-CHET-ay) to go back to Mexico and stop a revolutionary named Mendez who is threatening to fire a missile at Washington D.C. Machete is a really tough hombre, but he has a heart, so he takes on the mission. He captures the dangerously schizophrenic Mendez (Demián Bichir), but has to get him out of Mexico, past a wall that separates Mexico and the U.S. and to the only man who can diffuse the missile, whose trigger has been surgically attached to Mendez’ heart. To accomplish all this, Machete has to deal with Mendez’ wild personality swings, a murderous bevy of prostitutes led by Desdemona (Sophia Vergara) – who is wearing some very dangerous weaponry (yes, wearing) – and attempts on his life by characters played by Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lady Gaga and Antonio Banderas, who, in this film, all share a very unusual connection. Oh, and then there’s Mel Gibson’s megalomaniacal Voz, who is planning on escaping the violence of earth by taking a select few up in a space shuttle he built himself.

    If all this sounds dumb, all I can say is… it is! But it’s also a real hoot! Machete is a serious bad-ass battling a whole lot of merciless, but colorful villains. The characters, the action, the violence, and the dialog are all delightfully over-the-top. If you watch this movie, you’ll get exactly what you expect – no more and no less. And you’ll even get a trailer for the next Machete movie – “Machete Kills Again… in Space!” I’m not even kidding. Until THAT sequel re-redefines “over-the-top”, I’ll revel in the memory of “Machete Kills” and recommend it with the only grade that I can give a great B-movie: a “B+”.

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