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Machete Kills - Movie Review

3 stars

Robert Rodriguez’s Mex-ploitation saga continues with the bat-shit crazy antics highlighted in Machete Kills.  While the print critics prematurely hammer nails into the character’s coffin, no amount of bullets can kill Danny Trejo.  He may be older and bit more stiff in this outing but the jokes and gags – while some recycled from other (and probably better) moments in Rodriquez’s canon – are never tiring or bothersome.

Appreciating a film designed to be parody can be a bit of struggle if you don’t know what to expect.  Machete Kills might feel familiar and it might be slightly less energetic than the first outing but that doesn’t stop it from being completely out of its mind as it sends Machete to outer space.  After all, Machete Kills is a no-holds-barred celebration of really bad B-movies and the awful (and seemingly endless) sequels that follow them.  Those expecting poetry should look elsewhere.

Machete Kills begins with a righteously blazing gunfight that ends with the capture and subsequent hanging of Machete.  Machete don’t die.  We know that.  The unfortunate bastards who decide that hanging him is a fitting punishment apparently never saw the first Machete.  In one unexpected moment, he’s recruited by President Rathcock (played by Charlie Sheen but hilariously billed as Carlos Estevez) to save the country.

The mission is suicide for a man as hated as Machete.  He must stop a split personality madman (played by The Bridge’s Demian Bichir) who plans to detonate a nuclear bomb in the United States.   It is here where Bichir, complete with crazy-eyed squints and rat-like faces, nearly steals all the cheese from Machete.  He’s undone, though, by an even bigger madman – Mel Gibson – whose Star Wars-obsessed character has a plan to move his followers to space.  He’s the big boss man behind the scenes.  Machete is only surrounded by his puppets.

The female cast – Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Michelle Rodriguez, and Spy Kids star Alexa Vega (now 25 and certainly all va-va-voom grown up) – provide the sex appeal Rodriguez likes to load his films with while the boys act like boys and … well, drool, point their guns and shoot, shoot, shoot.  There’s a great assassin character – referred to as La Chameleon – who is played by Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lady Gaga, and Antonio Banderas and, yes, they all play the same person.

The film was shot in less than a month.  Does it show?  Yes.  Is that a problem?  Absolutely not.  Machete Kills is exactly what it needs to be.  Dumb fun.  Say what you will about this type of popcorn entertainment: it’s illogical, full of a wee bit of the ultra-violence, and sends the wrong type of messages to the youth time and time again.  Whatever.  You don’t roll your eyes at this type of entertainment.

Machete Kills and most of what Rodriguez puts together in his Austin-based headquarters hitch the awesome power of the cinema like nothing else.  Rodriguez embraces the cinema without apology.  The movie knows exactly what it is and doesn’t stumble in its approach to mockery and in the spirit of fun.  Certainly, there is no false advertising.  You get exactly what you expect from the trailers.  It is funny, extreme, and outrageous.

Machete Kills does just that.

[tab title="Film Details"]

Machete Kills - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R For strong bloody violence throughout, language and some sexual content
: Robert Rodriguez
: Robert Rodriguez
Danny Trejo, Alexa PenaVega, Mel Gibson
: Action | Comedy
Trained to kill. Left for dead. Back for more.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Try not to be distracted by the cleavage and the hairspray. That's part of my cover."
Open Road Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 11, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 21, 2014

Synopsis: After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the areas new razor-toothed residents.


[tab title=Blu-ray Review”]

Machete Kills - Movie Review


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - January 21, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH, French, Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy; BD-Live
Region Encoding: A

Universal’s Blu-ray offers a terrific technical presentation of this low-budget flick. Rodriguez’s digital cinematography is rich in color and detail, always sharp as a tack. Even the intentional “print flaws” look crisp and clear. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix steamrolls across the stereo spectrum like a stampede of wild bulls. Gunfire, splattering blood, and all manner of sound effects spray forth from every channel.



  • None.  You are buying this for the movie alone.

Special Features:

Because it was box office disappointment, the blu-ray feels a bit … naked.  There’s a making-of featurette available with interviews from the cast and a solid collection of deleted scenes for the Machete maniac.

  • Making Of Machete Kills (20 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (20 min)

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