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Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete Kills” is as insane, over-the-top, and colorfully bloody as you’ve heard. The first “Machete” was a surprise hit for Rodriguez, but apparently moviegoers weren’t all that interested in following the continued adventures of Danny Trejo’s superhero-ish character the second time ’round. The sequel was a bona fide flop, recouping just $15 million worldwide. That’s almost $30 million less than the original. Even considering Rodriguez’s famous low-budget/high-thrills filmmaking style, the film was still a major disappointment.
“Machete Kills” now slays onto DVD and Blu-ray this week courtesy of Universal Studios.
Danny Trejo (Grindhouse, Machete) returns as legendary ex-Federale Machete Cortez in this action- packed thrill ride from innovative director Robert Rodriguez. In his latest mission, Machete is recruited by the U.S. President (Charlie Sheen/Carlos Estevez; Anger Management, Two and a Half Men) to stop a crazed global terrorist (Mel Gibson; Braveheart, Edge of Darkness) from starting a nuclear war. With a bounty on his head, Machete breaks all the rules as he faces death at every turn from an all-star cast of deadly assassins.
Following on the events of 2010’s “Machete,” our heavily tattooed ex-federale hero is working alongside the original’s heroine, Jessica Alba, who promptly gets herself killed in the film’s opening sequence. That leads to Machete being recruited by Charlie Sheen’s President to stop a cartel drug lord with a split personality (Demian Bichir) from launching a missile on Washington, D.C. Eventually, he finds out that Mel Gibson, an industrialist who claims he can see the future, is behind it all. A lot of slicing, slashing, bloodletting, and lousy gun shooting ensue.
If you haven’t “got” it by now, there’s nothing about “Machete Kills” to take very seriously. It’s a cartoon in the form of a live-action movie, with people getting decapitated and sliced by helicopter blades pretty regularly. Our aging hero is essentially invincible, even when he’s shot point blank by a dozen men with assault rifles. Danny Trejo, as always, plays the straight man to just about everyone onscreen, including pretty amusing cameos by the great Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Lady Gaga. Sophia Vergara shows up as a man-hating madame, along with chaps-wearing sidekick Alexa Vega. Amber Heard is way underused as a beauty pageant/secret agent, and so is Michelle Rodriguez, reprising her role from the first movie.
“Machete Kills” is exactly the movie you thought you were getting–silly, over-the-top, colorful, and totally illogical–so in that respect it definitely delivers. If you saw the trailers and were expecting, well, something else? That’s entirely your fault. Rodriguez and company have served up a ridiculous live-action superhero cartoon, and those in the mood for something like that will eat the movie up. For the rest of you? Well, Sofia Vergara wears a machinegun bra and uses it quite often, so there’s that.
The DVD/Blu-ray combo pack comes with just a few extras, including about 20 minutes of deleted and extended scenes that’s really kind of pointless. It also has a 20-minute “Making Machete Kills” featurette, which is about, well, the making of “Machete Kills.” I mean, it’s right there in the title!