Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale agent Machete in Machete Kills. This time Machete is on a mission from the president of the United States (Charlie Sheen AKA Carlos Estevez) to “kill”. Machete must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer. But that’s just the storyline, which takes a back seat to the blood and guts action in the Robert Rodriguez sequel to his universally well received campy Machete released in 2010.
The lure of being in a Rodriguez’s movie was heighten after iconic actor Robert De Niro played Senator McLaughlin in the original Machete. For Machete Kills it seems all Rodriguez had to do was ask. Amid the guts flying, body parts splattering, helicopters exploding, “double Ds” firing, and the slicing and dicing by Machete (Danny Trejo), there is a lot of star power with the likes of Lady Gaga, Jessica Alba, Antonio Banderas, Michelle Rodriguez, Amber Heard, Alexa Vega, Cuba Gooding Jr., and a few Oscar nominees like Mel Gibson and Demian Bichir.
In this case the Oscar nominated Bichir proves why he was received a Best Oscar award nomination for his role in Weitz’s A Better Life. Bichir’s performance is worth the price of the movie ticket and then some. We’ve seen Bichir play the distinguished (and crooked) Mayor of Tijuana in Weeds and the hard working, benevolent gardner in Chris Weitz’s A Better Life, but American audiences have never seen him in a role like this. Playing a split personality schizoid who goes in an out from a well-meaning revolutionary leader to a kind of goofy schizoid guerilla terrorist.
In Machete Kills the U.S. Customs Agent, Santana, played by Jessica Alba in original, gets killed off in the first 10 minutes. Michelle Rodriguez’s character whose mission in Machete as the leader of the Network, was to fight for the rights of the oppressed as an undercover taco truck vendor, is sidelined. In their place? Skimpily clad female bad asses showing off their ass–ets. Their mission is not about the people; their mission is just to kill, and they are well equipped to do so. In Sofia Vergara’s case, who plays a man-hating whore house madam, the firepower comes from her double “D”machine gun bustier.
I miss the inspirational characters — the storyline. However, if you love watching outrageously bloody, gory action and half dressed beautiful women this is your kind of movie.