Look, let's be honest here - one doesn't sit at home to watch Machete Kills expecting fine art. And that's fine! That's good, even! There is no inherent problem with fun, silly action movies. None at all. You just need to enjoy them for what they are - not loathe them for what they aren't.
Now, of course, Machete Kills' first big problem is that it isn't exactly fresh and funny anymore. We already had Machete, and that was born from a joke trailer. The whole thing feels like a prank by people with way too much money to toss around. Again - at times that is a wonderful thing. But we've seen it already.
So that's the big problem with the film but what about it works? Trejo, first and foremost. We get a better focus on him this time, more time for the main man himself. It's a welcome shift from the first film.
The plot is… oh, who cares? You're not in this for plot. You're in this game for fun and gore and a few laughs. In that respect - Machete Kills does deliver, even if it still manages to feel like we've done most of this before in different ways.
I dunno. Can you tell I'm torn? Charlie Sheen (credited as Carlos Estevez (his birth name)) makes a fine President for this world but that's what I mean. Machete Kills is, like Machete, something that may have just been better off as a funny fake trailer. There is never quite enough meat on the bone to make you forget that your jaw kinda hurts from gnawing at it.
That metaphor got away from me, I think.
Rodriguez has a lot of fun tossing in endless bits of ever-mounting crap to throw at the screen, and our "hero" but… look, the bottom line here is - should you watch the film?
If you liked Machete, certainly! You'll enjoy this more than you did Die Hard II after seeing Die Hard, you know? If you didn't see Machete you can still jump in, and that's where I throw some caution in.
If you think that the modern grindhouse homage films are a genre worth following then you may want to dive right in, though I question why you haven't seen Machete at that point. If you haven't but are interested in trying it out you may want to go back to the first or to Rodriguez' earlier grindhouse attempt Planet Terror (That ran with Tarintino's Death Proof as Grindhouse - which is where the fake trailer for Machete first appeared. Dear lord, this is a snake eating its own tail, isn't it?).
And that's the final word. This eats its own tail. You already know if you'll enjoy this or not. And if you don't know this isn't where you're going to start. So make your gut choice and jump in. Chances are, if you're picking this up - you mean it and will have a good time!
The Blu-ray, speaking on technical terms, has spectacular audio and video. The sort of quality that, on the right system, makes you feel like you made the right choice in format. Way to go, past you! You did present you a favor!0comments
But extras? The disc comes with two, 20-minute chunks of bonus. Some deleted/extended scenes - most of which you understand why they didn't make a final cut - and a making of mini-doc. It's fairly standard and kinda bland. But hey, there's only so much to say about Machete Kills, and even the disc producers know that.
Adam P. Knave is an Eisner and Harvey writer and editor who has written fiction (STRANGE ANGEL, STAYS CRUNCHY IN MILK), comics (AMELIA COLE, ARTFUL DAGGERS, ACTION CATS, and more) and columns for sites such as threeifbyspace , PopCultureShock and MamaPop. He can be found online at adampknave.com and you can follow him on twitter @adampknave