Sunday, November 3, 2013
Machete Kills (2013)(Minor Spoilers Review)
**This review contains MINOR spoilers, no big reveals, character deaths, or plot twists**
Following the events of Machete, Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) works with Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba) to stop Mexican drug cartels. Machete and Sartana are caught in the middle of a cross fire during an illegal arms deal between a group of rogue US militarily soldiers and a dangerous Mexican cartel. While Machete dives head first into the chaos, slicing the enemy into pieces with his trusted machete one by one, Sartana accidentally catches a forbidden view of a doomsday weapon……
With his back against the wall, Machete accepts a mission from US President Rathcock (Carlos Estevez), and with help from his trusted friend, Luz (Michelle Rodriguez) and her underground network, Machete prepares himself for the worst. And Machete will have to put aside bitter feelings for Luz’s new recruit, Osiris Amanapur (Tom Savini), the same man, who assisted Michael Booth in murdering his brother, Padre.
Machete’s mission? With an escort from his personal bodyguard, Zaror (Marko Zaror) Machete must infiltrate Marco Mendez’s (Demian Bichir) island to thwart Mendez’s planned missile launch against the US. But fighting one delusional visionary takes a backseat to a bigger problem, when Machete stumbles into the lair of a wealthy mad man, who’s also an obsessive Star Wars fan. Luther Voz (Mel Gibson) tempts Machete with a once in a lifetime offer, forcing Machete to showcase his “skills” for Voz during a demonstration with clones.
During his missions, Machete evades relentless attacks from a precise and crafty assassin named El Camaleon (Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lady Gaga, and Antonio Banderas), Sheriff Doakes (William Sadler), a vindictive madam named Madame Desdemona (Sofia Vergara), and a select group of Desdemona’s finest, including, KillJoy (Alexa Vega). Machete works with Blanca (Amber Heard), an undercover agent working in San Antiono, using the cover of a beauty pageant queen, to stop Voz and Mendez’s plans for destruction, and Machete receives an important tip from Cereza (Vanessa Hudgens). But the situation becomes more complex, when Voz reveals his big master plan…….
Danny Trejo delivers another entertaining performance in the leading role, as the grizzled tough guy, who dances to the beat of his own drum (“Machete don’t tweet!”). Carlos Estevez (or Charlie Sheen) is decent enough, but his character is limited to sporadic appearances here. Sofia Vergara’s is good for some laughs, as this sadistic and psychotic madam, who hates men. Heard fits the sultry vixen character like a glove, and Rodriguez is consistent as always, portraying the tough and unflinching hellcat. Vanessa Hudgens and Jessica Alba? I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but don’t get your hopes up too high for seeing a significant amount of screen time from both of them.
Gibson has his moments as this nutty and maniacal tyrant, who’s an obsessive Star Wars fan, and Bichir’s schizophrenic performance isn’t bad. Mendez suffers from a split personality disorder, bouncing back and forth between a man, who wants to do the right thing, and an evil mad man, who’s hell bent on destroying the US. The El Camaleon character changes his face and persona after each murder (or set of murders). First, you’ll see Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding, Jr. is next, then Lady Gaga, and Antonio Banderas is the last face of El Camaleon. El Camaleon shedding his last persona for a new one, while constantly changing faces was a cool trick, but I have a message for Gaga fans, don’t expect too much out of her here. Gaga’s screen time as a face of El Camaleon is short, and if you blink, there’s a chance you’ll miss her. Although, Gaga has a short one-liner that brought a little chuckle out of me during a chase scene with Machete: “Hola mother f*****!”
Machete Kills is a more polished film than Machete with a more refined story, and a few unexpected twists and turns. Bottom line, if you enjoyed Machete, you should enjoy Machete Kills, because there’s enough blood and violent carnage to fulfill expectations of chaotic and brutal mayhem for grindhouse fans. Machete Kills is another enjoyable comedy exploitation action film in the Machete series, and with all the cliffhangers and teasing at the end, Machete has more than enough fuel to fight another day, and more importantly, the story has more room to grow.
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