Friday, October 11, 2013

Machete Kills Movie Review

Danny Trejo and Demián Bichir (r) in Machete Kills

The Man. The Myth. The Legend

Machete don't fail. He don't joke, smoke or Tweet either. What does Machete do? He grunts, kills and stumbles through lines: Danny Trejo revives (was he ever dead?) his "legendary" character Machete Cortez in Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, a mindless assembly of carnage, cheap gags and fringe stars Hell-bent on making a bad movie. It's one thing to be bad by accident; but quite another to do it on purpose.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: In MACHETE KILLS, Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale agent MACHETE, who is recruited by the President of the United States for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man - he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet.

What’s Best: It's hard not to smile at the sight of Charlie Sheen as a foul-mouthed U.S. President, or Mel Gibson as an arms dealer/Star Wars fanatic; but these one-trick ponies hardly bear repeating. What makes Machete enjoyable (in very small drops) are initial meet & greets with Demián Bichir, Cuba Gooding Jr., Michelle Rodriguez's body and every ounce of Alexa Vega. Unfortunately, three good minutes isn't worth sitting through the other 105.

What’s Not: Exploitation films are clearly not my "thing," but the very idea of the genre is that it's low budget. Machete Kills was made for a cool $20 mil, and "faking it" is akin to buying blue jeans with the tears already in them.

As for specifics, I could go on and on about how awful it is to hear Sofía Vergara scream lines like, 'It's Peso Pussy Tuesday,' and 'Bring me my Double Ds!' or watch her shoot bullets from her chest and other areas. Ditto for blatant racial riffs (several references to Machete as a "taco" leap to mind) and equally ludicrous kills (You could just as easily title this movie Death by Propeller.) I drifted off at least thrice. P.S. Bonus jeers for blurring Amber Heard's soon-to-be-naked body with a jive warning, "Put on your 3D glasses now." If she was worried about her reputation, would she even be in this movie?

Best Line: Machete (in "standard-issue" deadpan) incredulously asks, 'How many of you are they?' when battling a cloned henchman, played by Marko Zaror; but the line dud of the day goes to Walter Goggins as the first of four Chameleons, who strolls into a bar and asks, 'You wouldn't happen to have a popsicle to stick up my ass?' Ugh.

Overall: I must sound like a stick-in-the-mud for taking Machete Kills too seriously; but boring is boring. Last year's hilarious Casa de Mi Padre proved you can make a farcical movie that's funny and interesting. Rodriguez's effort is merely recycled hash with "big" names to draw you in. Trejo is so bland, so uninteresting... you may as well stick a machete in the hand of a key grip and call him a star. With movies like this, is it any wonder Mexico still has a stigma in America's eyes?

Grade: F