Michelle Rodriguez

Blu-ray REVIEW: Machete Kills (2013)

NEW RELEASE

“Oh my goodness.  That lady just shot blades out of her boobs.” – Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom

MACHETE KILLS_0003MACHETE KILLS (2013 Aldamisa)
Directed by Robert Rodriguez

Machete Kills is the sequel to Robert Rodriguez’ Machete (2010), starring 69 year old cult hero Danny Trejo.  Minor spoiler alert:  It begins with an over the top preview trailer for the third Machete movie, guest starring “Justin Bieber” as “Bleep”.  (Guess what happens to “Bleep”!)*  Hold on to your hats.

For Machete Kills, I decided to co-review it with special guest, Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom.  I enjoy subjecting Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom to movies now and then.  Sometimes she likes them:  Paul (2011) was her favourite of my selections.  Jackass 3D (2010) was definitely her least favourite.

Machete Kills sort of has a plot:  The US military is selling weapons to the cartel.  Another mysterious faction with black Venom-like masks are also after the weapons.    The masked leader of this group gives Machete something terrible to avenge.  Then, the President of the United States of America (Carlos Estevez/Charlie Sheen) makes him offer he can’t refuse, and he is soon back in Mexico fighting a one-man war.  But he is not completely on his own, as undercover agent Miss San Antonio (Amber Heard) has plenty of gadgets that go boom.  His target: Marcos Mendez, the head of the cartel with a nuke aimed at Washington.

Add in a master of disguise after a $20M bounty, a Star Wars-obsessed evil genius, Sofía Vergara’s machine gun boobs, a madman with multiple personalities and a load of evil clones, and we’re in for a good time.

The story as such serves simply to introduce the complex of characters.  Machete is less a film and more a series of action sequences separated by dialogue explaining what’s happening.  As the movie goes on, many interested parties emerge (all played by big name actors or Rodriguez regulars).  There are so many back-stabs and switcheroos that we are well past incredulity and into outlandish.  Machete is a perfect mix of camp and violence.  Although the movie seems built to support the large cast, the actors in turn are all pros clearly having a good time.  I liked them all…all but Amber Heard.  Something about her, so wooden.

I made three minor observations. 1) It’s convenient that the bad guys only attack Machete one at a time.  2) It’s also a good thing for Machete that none of the generic bad guys can aim. 3) The female characters in the movie might want to put on some pants next time they go into combat.

As for my co-reviewer, Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom didn’t like when Machete’s girlfriend Sartana (Jessica Alba) gets shot in the head.  “She was a pretty girl,” she says.  “She shouldn’t have been shot.”  She also didn’t like seeing Marko Zaror getting sucked into helicopter blades by his intestines.  Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom had a few choice words for Lady Gaga, which she asked me to edit out so to avoid the wrath of her Little Monsters.  She did not enjoy the number of heads that got removed from their bodies (at least a dozen), but I did see her laugh at several points.  She largely enjoyed the cast, particularly Mel Gibson.  Upon seeing Carlos Estevez, she shrieked “He’s the President?  Oh my God!”  She did not enjoy the foul language, particularly when out of the mouths of the young female characters.

4/5 stars – LeBrain

A “solid” 3/5 stars – Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom  (“It was really kind of…strange.”)

* actors subject to change

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MOVIE REVIEW: Machete (2010)

In anticipation the of the soon-to-be-released sequel Machete Kills!

“Machete don’t text.”

MACHETE (2010, 20th Century Fox)

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

I really didn’t know what to expect when I bought Machete, sight unseen.  Can you really expand a novelty joke movie trailer into a full length movie?  If so, can you have it remain as funny, as action packed, and creative as that 3 minute spot? Robert Rodriguez answers us, “Yes”!

“They just fucked with the wrong Mexican”

Danny Trejo is awesome as our anti-hero and titular character. An unemployed machete-wielding vigilante, he has been offered a considerable sum of money to assassinate a corrupt senator (Robert DeNiro). However, it’s a double cross! The attempted shooting only boosts the senator’s popularity, thus ensuring his election victory, based on anti-immigrant propaganda.

Machete is not alone. His brother the Padre (Cheech Marin) is a gun-totin’ pot-smokin’ priest with a determination to right some wrongs. Blood, gore, people’s intestines being ripped out and used as a rope…this movie has everything you were hoping for and some things you weren’t. Done in the same campy style as Grindhouse, scratchy film and all, if you’re in on the joke you will love Machete. If you don’t get it, hey that’s cool.  They’re still making Fast & Furious films.

Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Don Johnson, Jeff Fahey, and Steven Segal round out the cast, and they were all clearly having a blast. DeNiro especially seems like he was having a great time camping it up with his cheesiest character yet. And then there’s the most overrated star of all time, Lindsay Lohan. I’m not sure what she’s doing here, except to attract some more viewers who want to see her frolicking around topless.

Blu-ray bonus features are kind of sparse, but there are deleted scenes. There’s also an audience reaction audio track, and I always enjoy those with a film like this.  It gives you the feeling of being there in the theater.  Still, I was hoping for more bonus features, like another one of Robert’s cooking features. They’re fun. Ahh well.

If you are a fan of this genre, and liked movies such as Grindhouse or Black Dynamite, you will love Machete. If you’re looking for glossy Hollywood action, look elsewhere.

5/5 stars