“Machete doesn’t text” and neither should you in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, or you’re sure to miss out on the raucous violence and humor that this film has to offer. Whether you’re a fan of Rodriguez’s prolific work, an admirer of the legend in Danny Trejo, or just in need of an entertaining Grindhouse-style experience, you’re in for a sensational treat.
The sequel to 2010’s Machete combines all the elements that fans witnessed in the Grindhouse double feature with Planet Terror and Death Proof, and of course the excellent cast featured. It’s not Rodriguez’s best work, but it’s a reflection of a filmmaker who rounds up his friends, pours all their thoughts into a melting pot of creativity, and produces a stew of intentionally exaggerated violence.
It’s possible that some movie-goers here will experience an overwhelming amount of campiness. They should also assume the characteristics that construct the Grindhouse genre. I deem this attempt by Robert Rodriguez successful in its own merit. He delivers an independent film vibe accompanied with a $20 million budget. If you’re a prospective audience member who believes this film may be “too campy” or “over-done”, then you may be right, but don’t deny yourself the pleasure of Machete Kills due to a few over-exaggerated lacerations.
The story opens with Machete beckoned by the President of the U.S.A. (Carlos Estevez) to track down a Mexican revolutionary to thwart a potential attack on the White House. As soon as Machete agrees to the mission a giant target plants itself on his back. Everyone appears to want him dead. There may be a lucrative bounty attached, but that doesn’t stop Machete from rising to the occasion, and assuming the role of the legend that everyone he encounters has heard plenty of times.
Aside from the violence that only Robert Rodriguez’s inner teenager could drum up, the film’s structure represents displays of technical proficiency. The smash-cut style of editing provides a nostalgic Grindhouse genre vibe. Older audiences are able to bridge their experiences from their Grindhouse yesteryears with a modern day big-budget. The younger audiences who are both unfamiliar and familiar with Rodriguez’s work can appreciate his effort here, as the film caters to a modern filmic pace that they are accustomed to.
All in all, Machete Kills has my vote for a film worth attending this weekend. Audiences will enjoy themselves as long as they stay true to their expectations. So, strap yourself in. It’s about to get interesting.
Machete Kills opens today in Philly theaters.
Author: Kyle Harter
Kyle Harter recently relocated to Philadelphia after receiving his BA in Film from the University of Central Florida. Kyle aspires to a career of filmmaking, writing, and adventure. Kyle has a mild obsession with Quentin Tarantino, coffee, and Corgis. He co-authors the film blog, The Main Squeeze.