July 21, 2017


22° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect


Advertise With Us

Sequel a hatchet job

Machete Kills more creepy than cutting

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/10/2013 (1379 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I enjoy junk culture as much as the next guy... OK, more than the next guy... but there are limits.

One such step over the line is Machete Kills, a sequel to the 2010 hit Machete. That movie, you'll recall, only existed to fulfil the promise of the fake Machete trailer director Robert Rodriguez created for the double bill Grindhouse.

He slices, he dices. Danny Trejo returns as Machete to take out a megalomanic madman with his... well, you know.


He slices, he dices. Danny Trejo returns as Machete to take out a megalomanic madman with his... well, you know.

Fun Fact: Machete outgrossed Grindhouse by nearly $20 million with less than one-sixth of Grindhouse's budget.

Machete was good junky fun, introducing Danny Trejo's character, a migrant day worker, with a past as an ass-kicking government operative, double-crossed into super-human action against a cadre of bad guys. If nothing else, it introduced the notion the human intestine can be used for rappelling down the exterior of a building.

In keeping with the joke of the first movie, Machete Kills opens with a trailer for its own sequel: Machete Kills Again... In Space.

It looks terrible. Evidently, the Machete franchise is headed downhill.

Exhibit A: Machete Kills.

Drafted back into the crime-fighting biz, Trejo's granite-faced hero immediately suffers the loss of his unlikely lover in the first few minutes of this film. He is thus ripe to be drafted into taking revenge by accepting a mission from the president (Charlie Sheen, billed by his birth name Carlos Estevez) to kill a megalomaniac madman who has a missile aimed at Washington. To get to him, Machete must kidnap the dual-personality drug lord Mendez (Demian Bechir), who leads him on a chase to the Mexican-U.S. border being chased by a man-eating brothel owner (Sofia Vergara) with a double-barreled bullet-spitting bra, as well as sundry assassins (Cuba Gooding, Walton Goggins, Lady Gaga) who may actually be the same person.

It all leads to a showdown with the aforementioned madman Voz (Mel Gibson), a cheesy sub-Bond villain whose gimmick is that he can foretell the future a few minutes in advance.

Gibson appears to be having fun, and it's probably a small mercy he is having such a delusional good time. He's never given a worse performance. He and Rodriguez appear to have conspired to make fun of Gibson's crazy-man reputation with the result that Gibson seems to be playing himself. (Demian Bechir -- who played Fidel Castro in Steven Soderbergh's Che movies -- is the far more entertaining nutcase here.) Gibson just registers as very creepy.

Indeed, the B-movie vibe of the first film has been supplanted by a whole lot of creepy content here: Vergara's man-hating invective, Lady Gaga's vile mugging, and the beautiful Amber Heard (as a government operative called Miss San Antonio) obliged to seduce the 69-year-old Trejo.

And hey, how about Rodriguez drafting former Spy Kids juvenile Alexa Vega to serve as this movie's T&A quotient in the role of an underdressed prostitute/assassin named Kill Joy.

Kill Joy might have been a good title for this movie. If the first film succeeded in paying joyful tribute to the tawdry exploitation movie, the sequel kills it dead.


Read more by Randall King.


Advertise With Us


Updated on Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7:08 AM CDT: adds video

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Photo Store

Scroll down to load more