There is little that is simple these days. With rising gas prices, Miley Cyrus sexually exploiting construction sites, and the US government currently shut down, everyone longs for the straightforward days of yester-year. In terms of complexity, Machete Kills is an amoeba that can be taken at face value.
We rejoin Machete (Danny Trejo) and Sartana (Jessica Alba) as they team up to defend the US from any threat. While intercepting an illegal sale of weapons, they end up in a bigger conspiracy that costs Sartana her life. Motivated by revenge, again, Machete accepts the mission given to him by the President (Carlos Estevez/Charlie Sheen) to stop schizophrenic drug lord/revolutionary Mendez (Demian Bichir) and background mastermind Voz (Mel Gibson).
He must fight an army of new villains like Desdemona (Sofía Vergara) and her brothel of whores, along with bounty hunter Chameleón (Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lady Gags, Antonio Banderas), so he will obviously need all the help he can get. That includes lusty pageant queen Miss San Antonio (Amber Heard) and hardcore revolutionary Shé (Michelle Rodriguez). Machete will need to murder, sleep around, and explode things if he has any hopes of saving the US, and maybe even the world.
Machete Kills delivers absolutely everything that it promises. Murder, mayhem, femme fatales with anatomically correct (for the most part) weapons, dismemberment, and all the political incorrectness you could stomach. So why then was this sequel a cut below the first? Simplicity. You can’t scratch past the surface of this film because you’ll only mess up your nails finding out there is nothing waiting underneath. If you expect to find even a kernel of sage-like life advice or some profound existential realization, you will be beyond disappointed. The deepest information this film has to offer is the knowledge that Machete don’t tweet.
I completely realize that not a single person is expecting anything extravagant from Robert Rodriguez’s sequel, Machete Kills, but even with the bar set so low this film’s fails to entertain. Sure, seeing Sofia Vergara with a penis pistol (yes, the same one in From Dusk Til Dawn) and hearing the laundry list of things that Machete doesn’t do is entertaining, but it gets old fast. Machete Kills fails to surprise and shock even at the most basic level, and if you remember the first film, that’s all it really had going for it. I caught myself yawning more times than I laughed.
The lack of any coherent story or plot would have been forgivable if it at least could have done something more original with the ultra-violent action sequences. Instead, we get the threat/promise of another sequel even before the film starts, all but spoiling this film’s ending. Oh, and did I mention this new sequel will take place in space. Yes, of course Machete is wielding a lightsaber machete.
The purpose of a sequel (aside from the financial aspect) should be to give us what we love from the original film, remind us why we loved it, and give us a reason to continue loving it. This trailer-turned-exploitation-film franchise did the first two by bringing us Machete in all his g(l)ory, but they deliver exactly what you’re expecting in almost the same exact way they did before. Sure Machete can kill almost anything that stands in his way, but the tame predictability of this film killed Machete.
RATING: ★★★★(4/10 stars)
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