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Machete Kills (2013) good movie
USA, 104 min, Rated 14A (ON) 13+ (QC)
Reviewed 10/13, © Stephen Bourne
www.ofrb.gov.on.ca | www.rcq.gouv.qc.ca

Robert Rodriguez - Director/Cinematography
Kyle Ward - Screenplay


"'Machete Kills' is an action-packed thrill ride about the adventures of legendary secret agent Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo). In his latest mission, Machete is recruited by the U.S. President (Carlos Estevez) to stop a crazed global terrorist (Mel Gibson) from starting a nuclear war. With a bounty on his head, Machete faces death at every turn from an all-star cast of deadly assassins." - machetekillsmovie.tumblr.com


Notorious legendary Mexican cop-turned-killer Machete Cortez (played by Danny Trejo) is back, secretly tasked by oily incumbent US President Rathcock (introducing Carlos Estevez, aka Charlie Sheen) to hack and slash through South of the Border officers and cartel goons to stop a nuclear missile aimed at Washington by fanatical revolutionary Marcos Mendez' (Demián Bichir), in director Robert Rodriguez's return to his unabashedly campy Latino-flavoured celebration of low-budget gratuitous gore. Aided by beauty pageant undercover agent Miss San Antonio (Amber Heard) and taco truck-based underground illegal immigrant network leader Shé (Michelle Rodriguez); hunted by blood-thirsty brothel bombshell Madame Desdemona (Sofía Vergara) and master of disguise assassin El Cameleón (Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr., Antonio Banderas, and introducing Lady Gaga as 'La Chameleón'), Machete eventually learns Mendez is merely a fractured pawn in a much larger diabolical scheme of apocalyptic world domination, super soldiers, and Star Wars fandom gone awry... Aye carumba!

Long-time character actor Danny Trejo debuted as Machete in the laughably gory fake trailer of the same name made by director Robert Rodriguez. It was featured in the Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino-directed movie Grindhouse (2007), an über cheesy double bill homage to horror cinema's sleazy and sadistic mid-20th century sub-genre. Trejo returned for his first big screen lead role, as the grumpy ex-Federale chopaholic in Machete (2010), co-written and directed by Rodriguez. Machete also starred Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, and Jessica Alba. Reportedly earning over $44 million in worldwide box office ticket sales, the movie, as well as Trejo and Alba, was nominated for an ALMA Award by the American Latino civil rights organization NCLR in 2011. Alba's performance in Machete as feisty US Immigration and Customs agent Sartana Rivera won her an ALMA Award for Favorite Movie Actress in a Drama or Adventure.

This sequel is a thoroughly infectious, delightfully craptacular romp rife with similar over-the-top ham and cheese acting, outrageously clichéd dialogue and quirky distractions enjoyed in the first film. While much of the nastier Grindhouse elements have been sliced away for the most part, pretty well all the characters in Machete Kills are scuffed up and tacky one-dimensional stereotypes. It's clear this cast had a blast playing up their roles with irreverent abandon throughout. Trejo is absolutely hilarious here, effortlessly reclaiming his lead as the perpetually grimacing, leather-clad and blade-flailing lobo who will not die. There's a scene featured in the trailer where Machete grabs and electrocutes a masked attacker with one hand by stabbing a nearby fuse box with a machete in his other hand, just because. To quote the legend himself from later on, "Machete happens". Kyle Ward's screenplay is knuckle-dragging low brow and schlock-riddled for all the right reasons. (Read more)

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