While you don’t quite have to switch your brain off to appreciate this Robert Rodriguez directed offering, you may just enjoy the ride a little more if you do. Rest your analytical muscles for the 107 minutes and let Machete Kills make you laugh out loud, consider the ridiculousness of it all and wait with excited glee for what might be coming next. In other words, let it entertain you.
Originally having conceived of the idea of Machete in 1995 while working on Desperado, the character suddenly burst into the cult consciousness with an overblown guest-trailer, part of Tarantino and Rodriguez’s Grindhouse double-bill. The original proved successful enough for an equally over-the-top sequel to be produced.
Machete Kills immediately opens with some outrageous action, which is at the very least honest to the films title. The plot is revenge and saving the world, thrills and the stunt-casting gives Machete (Danny Trejo) something to get his teeth into. The best of this casting is Carlos Estevez (Charlie Sheen using a variation on his real name) the President of the United States. He appeals to Machete to come out of retirement and save the world from a less than stable Mexican revolutionary (Demian Bichir) and insane, eccentric Billionaire (Mel Gibson) who somewhere between them plot to rid the globe of its least worthy inhabitants and start World War III.
Rodriguez packs plenty into this picture; approaching attempts on the life of his implausibly immortal lead from various angles; friends, lovers, the gun totting occupants of a Mexican brothel (headed by Sofia Vergara), and in a neat twist, an assassin appropriately known as the Chameleon (facilitating numerous big name cameos).
Aside from the comic violence the script is flavoured with humour from a Latin-American angle, which focuses heavily on their position within the United States which may not resonate as strongly with those from other countries.
Ultimately thought Machete Kills is a good effort if a bit too long. It gives rise to the feeling that you’ve had a good time, but you should have been on your way home already. The over-the-top sensationalism even gives you a trailer for the expected sequel Machete Kills¦ in Space, which appears before the film has even ended. Bonkers.