Film Review: Machete Kills

Machete Kills

Machete Kills is an enjoyable follow up to Robert Rodriguez’s 2010 hit. The film focuses on the absurd; an aspect that entertains throughout.

Ex-Federale Machete is hired by no less than the American president himself for a critical mission. Machete needs to find arms dealer Mandez before he launches a weapon that could have catastrophic consequences…

Machete Kills continues soon after the first film ends, but swiftly takes a detour in terms of narrative. Whereas Machete had its silly moments, but more serious themes at play, Machete Kills embraces a farcical James Bond-esque plot, pitting Machete as the unlikely saviour.

The film takes on a more absurd edge than its predecessor, but this is what makes the film so entertaining. The plot lurches from silly to absurd, taking the audience along with it for the ride.

Machete Kills taps into the ‘Mexploitation’ vibe more effectively than the original film. There are moments that have a real 1970s feel to them, and the film instils B movie values. The preview at the beginning of the film as an amusing touch, and one that harks back to the Machete character’s origins.

This sequel also features females in prominent roles. Whilst these characters might be fiesty and trigger-happy, their power is negated by the choice of attire. Although this could be seen as replicating the type of film that Machete Kills pastiches, it is a shame that the main female characters are not a little more progressive.

More so than its predecessor, there is stunt casting galore in Machete Kills. This comes in the form of Charlie Sheen as US president, and roles for Mel Gibson and Lady Gaga. Elsewhere, Danny Trejo reprises his role well, while Amber Heard and Demian Bichir seem to be having fun.

Machete Kills should satisfy fans of the first film, as well as appealing to those with a taste for the absurd.

Stuff To Look At

Film stuffs galore, including the Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit trailer, Machete Kills, Into The Woods and more…

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Here is the first Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit trailer. The release of the trailer comes in the same week as the character’s creator, author Tom Clancy, passed away. Starring Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, and Kenneth Branagh (who also directs), Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is out in UK cinemas on 26th December 2013.

Rio 2

Talking animal alert! Rio 2 features the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Leslie Mann and Jamie Foxx. Blu, Jewel and their three children venture to the Amazon for a family reunion. Rio 2 is due for release in April 2014.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Here is the latest trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. This middle instalment features Orlando Bloom returning as Legolas, but a distinct lack of Gollum in the trailer at least. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is out in UK cinemas on 13th December 2013.

Machete Kills

Machete Kills is the follow up to 2010’s Machete. The film features more outlandish casting (including Charlie Sheen) and a more outlandish plot. Machete Kills hits cinemas on 11th October 2013.

Into The Woods

Meryl Streep Into The Woods

Well, Meryl Streep looks different. She plays the Witch in the first image released from Into The Woods. Based on the musical of the same name, Into The Woods is an amalgamation of a number of well-known fairy tales. The film also stars Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt and Chris Pine. It is set for a Christmas Day 2014 release in the US.

Frozen

Here is the first full trailer for Disney animation Frozen. With a talking snowman as a sidekick, the film seems perfect for Christmas. Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Idina Menzel provide the voices. Frozen   hits UK screens on 6th December 2013.

Film Review: Machete

Gloriously violent and at times hilarious, Machete is unabashedly good fun. The only thing that lets the film down is its political angle, which feels out of place in a movie such as this.

Machete, a former Federale agent, is hired to assassinate a US senator. When things don’t go according to plan, Machete embarks on a revenge mission, enlisting the help of a beautiful Mexican activist, and the interference of a beautiful US agent…

As a B movie, Machete works exceptionally well. The film exudes all the elements expected; overblown action sequences, gratuitous violence, trailer-worthy dialogue and beautiful women. Where the film is less successful is in its inclusion of the political narrative. Although mostly set in Texas, Machete is clearly taking to task Arizona’s recent controversial immigration law, which made headlines earlier this year.

While this is an issue evidently close to the heart of co-director and co-writer Robert Rodriguez, it seems at odds with the general tone of Machete. Although there is nothing wrong with B movies or B movie parodies having a comment, satirical or otherwise, on political events, Machete does this in a way that isn’t particularly smart or witty. The film would have functioned better as an all-out, ridiculous B movie homage, like Snakes on a Plane.

The idea of Machete first came to light in a fake trailer featured before Rodriguez’s double feature Grindhouse and Planet Terror. The character of Machete lives up to this early promise; he is tough and forthright, yet unequivocally a good guy. He very much plays the role of a superhero, even down to his Hulk-like assertion, “Machete don’t text”. Elsewhere, the film offers considerable amusement, particularly in Senator John McLaughlin’s ad campaigns.

The violence is Machete is almost relentless, but will most likely leave you crying out for more. This is because it is cartoon-like and superbly over the top; these scenes are enjoyable rather than wince inducing. Particularly imaginative is the hospital sequence, which is one of the highlights of the film.

The soundtrack to the film is bombastic, and perfectly fits the larger-than-life tone of proceedings. Effects are good, and even the title sequence is entertaining, a nod to the overall tongue-in-cheek nature of Machete.

Danny Trejo is perfectly cast as Machete; it is difficult to imagine anyone else in this role. Robert De Niro appears appropriately two-faced as the Senator, while Jeff Fahey brings nastiness as Michael Booth. Steven Seagal is suitably hammy as Mexican drug lord Torrez, and Michelle Rodriguez brings passion as Luz. The only letdown is Lindsay Lohan, who is stiff and unconvincing as April.

Machete is a very enjoyable film, betrayed only by its desire to be something more than this. Sit back, relax, and let the revenge commence.