The 2010 film “Machete” was released to theaters as a “grind-house” type of movie without much for a plot, but high on action and complete with the immense blood and gore. It was entertaining and received above average remarks from critics. Three years later, “Machete Kills” was one of the two sequels made, as mentioned in the end of the first film.
This sequel does not stack up as well to its predecessor in terms of entertainment value.
The story starts with the hero, Machete (Danny Trejo) teaming up with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Rivera (Jessica Alba) in the attempt to take down the Mexican Cartel. However, Rivera gets slain by a man in a luchador mask using a strange weapon. After being captured by the local sheriff’s department, Machete survives being hanged when the President of the United States (Charlie Sheen, credited as Carlos Estevez) offers him a mission to take down Mendez (Demián Bichir) a Mexican revolutionary leading Machete to discover things that may not be as they seem.
Danny Trejo’s performance as Machete was enjoyable; he fits the bill of the character. Mel Gibson’s role as the super villain, Luther Voz, was also competent. Gibson has that cheesy, sophisticated villain act going on for him, which makes his character enjoyable to watch on screen. I also liked the character known as “The Chameleon” where this assassin would change appearances by simply peeling his face off as a way to blend in – a neat concept. That character was played by different actors and actress each time a change was made.
Another entertaining aspect of the movie was the array of deaths. Most of the film’s deaths were satisfying, especially the classic decapitation with Machete’s signature weapon. The payoff for most of the deaths in the film does save this movie from being a total train wreck.
Despite the few enjoyable parts of the movie there was one glaring problem; the extreme lack of plot. This film just seems to be all over the place, compared to the the previous film that had a concise direction on where to go.
Another problem is that there were too many villains in the movie. There’s Mel Gibson’s character, “The Chameleon”, Mendez and Madame Desdemona played by Sofia Vergara. They’re all decent villains, but there is too much going. It seemed like so many different things were thrown against the wall and whatever stuck was put in the movie. This could be why there is a lack of plot – there were so many places to go and characters to give screen time to. They should have stuck to two villains at most and saved the others for the next movie.
Perhaps my biggest problem with the film was that there was a lack of charm. In the first film, despite all the blood and gore there was this underlying message throughout the movie. The message was that the immigration system in America was broken and something should be done. This subconscious message gave the film a charming aspect. But sadly, this film lacked any type of charming underlying message.