Dick De Jong
January 29, 2014
With a name like Machete Kills, no warning about strong violent content is necessary, but I'll make one anyway. As you can imagine from the titular weapon, heads roll, - literally, chopped, dropped and spun on the ground.
But it's not just noggins, in this Robert Rodriguez high-body-count romp, limbs are cleaved with the obligatory blood spurting. (Greg Nicotero and his K.N.B. EFX Group of special effects artists must have been toiling overtime.)
And the grisly mayhem is not limited to old-school decapitations and machine gunning, a high-tech plasma pistol actually turns the victim's body inside out, gross guts and all.
Of course, if you are a fan of gratuitous gore, who better to mete it out but Danny Trejo, Machete himself. If looks could kill, Trejo is your man. With a face etched with a thousand tragedies, Trejo engenders a surprising mix of terror and empathy.
For a supporting cast, Rodriguez has rounded up a motley crew including Mel Gibson, (a megalomaniacal Richard Branson), Demian Bichir, (a demented split personality), Sofía Vergara, (a maneating madam with bullet spitting undergarments), Amber Heard, (a kick-ass Miss San Antonio), Michelle Rodriguez, (a kick-ass one-eyed agent), and Alexa Vega (the cute teenager Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids movies, all grown up, kicking ass and baring the same in those chaps).
As an indication of the throw-it-against-the-wall-and-if-it-splats-use-it plot, Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lady Gaga, and Antonio Banderas all play the face-shedding, El Camaleón. And for good measure, Charlie Sheen, (credited with his real name, Carlos Estevez), vamps as the President of the United States.
As entertaining as it is to see the cast chew up the scenery in this unrepentant grind house movie, I felt like they had much more fun making the movie than I did watching it.
Sadly, Machete Kills does not deliver enough substance to support the undiluted carnage. As much as I rooted for everyone involved, I can't put Machete Kills on my list of Guilty Pleasures.
The Bonus Features are minimal. The deleted and extended scenes could be passed over.
After watching the "Making Machete Kills" featurette, three things are abundantly clear.
First and foremost, Danny Trejo is a sweet, gentle, caring person in real life.
Second, everyone had a blast filming Machete Kills. In a large part because of #3, Robert Rodriguez is great to work with.
Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Cast: Danny Trejo, Mel Gibson, Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofía Vergara, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Hudgens, Alexa Vega
Length: 1 hour, 48 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
5.1 Dolby Digital
5.1 Dolby Digital
English SDH, Spanish and French