Mania Grade: C-
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- Rated: R
- Starring: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Lady Gaga, Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, Alexa Vega, Jessica Alba, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Vanessa Hudgens
- Written By: Kyle Ward (Screenplay)
- Directed By: Robert Rodriguez
- Distributor: Universal Home Entertainment
- Original Year of Release: 2013
- Special Features: See Below
Machete Kills Blu-Ray Review
Machete Kills until it becomes dull
By Tim Janson
January 27, 2014
Who would have ever imagined that a film that features Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Lady Gaga, Alexa Vega, Jessica Alba, Vanessa Hudgens and Michelle Rodriguez in various states of undress and shooting big guns almost non-stop could be this boring? But that is what happens with Robert Rodriguez’ latest grindhouse spoof which blows past spoof, leaving it in its dust as it goes straight for bombastic, self-indulgent parody. Rodriguez wrote the story and also served as Director, Producer, Cinematographer, and editor and if I looked more closely I would not be surprised that he also handled the catering.
In an absurd plot more akin to a Dean Martin “Matt Helm” film than a James Bond film, Machete Cortez (Trejo) is contacted by the President (Sheen) to go to Mexico and stop a madman who is threatening to fire a nuclear missile at Washington DC if the U.S. doesn’t invade Mexico and destroy the drug cartels. The maniac turns out to be Marcos Mendez a Mexican agent who has a device implanted into his heart which will trigger the nuke. Machete has to get the man across the U.S. border to have the device disabled. They are forced to run through a gauntlet of heavily armed prostitutes led by Madame Desdemona (Vergara) and Killjoy (Vega); a shape-changing assassin who takes the faces of Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lady Gaga, and Antonio Banders; and an evil businessman and Star Wars fan named Voz (Gibson) who is building an army of super-powered clones.
Admittedly, and on paper, that all sounds like good, schlock-filled fun. It’s like Rodriguez brought all his buddies over his house, ordered up a couple of kegs and fired up the cameras. Onscreen it’s just the opposite. While Trejo, to his credit, plays his role straight, most of the rest of the cast is so over-the-top you expect them to turn and wink at you after they deliver their lines. Vergara, Gibson, and Banderas throw themselves into their roles and ham it up with gusto. On the other hand, Vega, Hudgens, and Heard look like they would rather be anywhere else than in this movie. The constant gun battles and car chases are broken up only by a few inventive bits of chaos such as Vergara’s machine gun bra and Machete shooting one of the oxygen tanks on a wheelchair bound thug, which sends him rocketing to his doom.
Rodriguez even has the pomposity to not only setup another sequel by having Michelle Rodriguez’s character frozen in Carbonite and taken aboard a spacecraft own by Voz, but to even precede the start of the film with a faux trailer for “Machete Kills Again…In Space!” But hey I have to give credit where credit is due. That 30 second trailer was one of the best things about the film.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (20:00) – 8 deleted and extended scenes with more bits of Gaga and Banderas. Not much of interest other than a baby clone of Machete (complete with mustache).
Making Machete Kills (20:00) – A by the numbers behind-the-scenes featurette including cast interviews, a look the film’s origins, and a nice spotlight of Trejo.