Monday, 17 March 2014

Machete Kills: Blu Ray Review

Machete Kills: Blu Ray Review

Rating: R18
Released by Icon and Roadshow

After breathing life into a character which appeared as part of the Planet Terror / Death Proof  faux trailers, and scoring box office gold with a spin off, Machete (Danny Trejo) returns once again.

This time around, after the death of his partner (Jessica Alba) at the hands of a masked killer, Machete is recruited by the US Government (aka POTUS Charlie Sheen) to take on an arms dealer in Mexico.

The rub? This arms dealer wants to fire a rocket on Washington and wipe out the government for doing little to wipe the scourge of the Mexican drug cartels from the planet. So, it's up to Machete, a big knife and some cojones to save the day....

Where the first Machete  had a degree of panache and self-awareness in terms of its exploitation, this latest Grindhouse / cult effort from director Robert Rodriguez  brings little to the table.

Amid a slew of killings, beheadings and general limb dismemberment, Danny Trejo, complete with his ruggedly lined face stumbles about as a dull Machete, looking tired, dazed and confused as to what exactly is going on. In amid his monosyllabic gruntings and one liners ("Machete don't tweet", "Machete don't smoke" to name but two of them), he seems lost at sea and confused as to what exactly is expected of him this time around.

Only Modern Family's buxom Sofia Vergara  seems to have a ball with her part, playing a whorehouse mistress whose main thrust is to avenge her dead daughter, killed when under Machete's charge. She fires the role with such aplomb that she's sorely missed when her brief time is over. And she brings new meaning to showing off her guns as well.

But that's half the problem with this latest Machete film - it feels sorely unfinished and under-cooked.

The first was a complete story whereas this latest seems to find Rodriguez suffused with the desire to build everything up to a climax that doesn't deliver and only teases a future installment, which appears to be set in space and is likely to be a grindhouse take on Star Wars, judging by the faux trailers which preface and bookend the piece. And the hints of a third film are terrifying, given the whole thing could have been epically wrapped up in this one alone.

Carlos Estevez (aka The winning Charlie Sheen) is wooden as the US President and Mel Gibson is utterly banal and unconvincing as the bad guy (with Rodriguez slyly hinting at Scientology but not bothering to go the full hog); even Demian Bichir hams it up as the OTT baddie initially, before he falls prey to the gory slaughter rained down upon the cast. A couple of gory kills will satisfy the adolescents in the audience, but there's little else here given how tame it all feels and how self-indulgent it becomes.

In short, the creatively limp Machete Kills does nothing except fire blanks.


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