‘Machete Kills’ (2013) review: When grindhouse meets sunlight, no one wins

Danny Trejo as Machete in "Machete Kills," directed by Robert Rodriguez. (Photo credit: Rico Torres/Courtesy Open Road Films)

Danny Trejo as Machete in “Machete Kills,” directed by Robert Rodriguez. (Photo credit: Rico Torres/Courtesy Open Road Films)

‘Machete Kills’ a lackluster follow-up to pulpy predecessor


OK, got that out of the system. If only screaming in a rage-induced fury would remedy the act of watching … whatever “Machete Kills” is.

You see, “Machete Kills” is not the type of movie you review. Or critique. Or even cast a judgmental eye toward. Because if you do, your skull will explode from the sheer violence and stupidity and strange casting and … well, you see where this is going.

But let it be said: If you want to see a bunch of half-naked woman goes absolutely insane while Danny Trejo returns as the antihero Machete, you won’t find a better fit.

“Machete Kills,” the sequel to the 2010 “Machete,” proves just as non sequitur as its predecessor. However, it lacks the same charm, if you will. Still just as chaotic. Now just incredibly boring.

The problem? “Machete” was never that original to begin with. Its obscene violence and grotesque gore got old real quick. There wasn’t much need for a sequel, which simply compounded the situation.

But here we are anyways. In “Machete Kills,” Trejo returns as the titular character, who quickly loses the love of his life when Sartana (Jessica Alba) is killed by what can only be described as a luchador wannabe. Because apparently Machete needs a reason to go all rampage-y.

The whole plot just devolves from there. Machete, just about to be killed by a redneck sheriff, is recruited by the government for a secret mission: to stop revolutionaries from attacking the White House, now home to President Rathcock, played by the shameless Charlie Sheen.

Speaking of celebrities, no one can deny the casting this movie whips together. Mel Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara. Oh, and Lady Gaga. The last one I understand. The others, not so much. Still, energy abounds with so many veteran actors running around killing everyone.

And Trejo seems to relish in his role as Bond with a vengeance. It’s all a bunch of nonsense wrapped up in murder, but you can help but snicker when he says such great lines as “Machete don’t tweet.”

But no matter how silly or kitschy, “Machete Kills” suffers from a symptom all too common today: When everything is pure mayhem for so long, you become bored, even desensitized, all that more quickly. Even the few laughs the movie delivers doesn’t alter that dynamic.

So, in the end, “Machete Kills” reminds us why grindhouse isn’t really done these days. Director Robert Rodriguez can express his love for bloodlust as much as he want, but it’s not going to change anything: No matter how beast a killer Machete is, “Machete Kills” is the only thing that deserves to dies.

One stupid star out of five.

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