Machete is addictive. Like anything that is addictive, it’s amazing the first time, but then becomes something you have to do again in case you miss out on that same high, yet, more often than not, it never quite lives up to the excitement which captured your attention in the first place.

However, as with most addictive things, the sequel, Machete Kills made it too hard to say, ‘never again’ to Danny Trejo’s kick-ass Latino character.

The first film served to expand on the trailer created for Grindhouse, the 2008 collaboration between Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Wildly over the top, knowingly silly and spectacularly gory, Machete managed to pack some surprises into a film that was created after its own highlight reel. Machete is essentially an in-joke, a gag that ended up becoming a movie.


So, after the spoof-style Grindhouse trailer and the first film, we’re already familiar with the cinematic language of Machete. It does what it says on the tin. The question we have for Machete Kills, then, is how do you give an audience the unexpected when you’re serving up simply more of the same of well, what they expect?

Whilst it didn’t exceed the enjoyment of the first instalment, it certainly still delivered. Yet it did leave me wondering how this cult classic sequel would translate to a wider audience.

In Machete Kills, Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale agent nicknamed Machete, who is recruited by the President of the United States for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man – he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet before attempting to hop off into space.

Its silly, contains blood-spatter killings and 3D gags, and the performances from the all-star cast are simply bonkers. And that is exactly the point of Machete Kills. This is an action comedy with no message, its stylistically pleasing with reference to Grindhouse- something that may not translate to your average Joe cinemagoers if they’re not familiar with the back story of Machete.

This instalment sees Mel Gibson play a lunatic future-telling super-villain who comes complete with his own theme tune. Charlie Sheen is a gun-toting, womanising, foul-mouthed U.S president with a penchant for underhand deals- a clear knowing wink to audience given Sheen’s reputation and preconceptions of previous US presidents…

Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara plays a man-hating Mexican madam who loves a whip and a machine gun bra or two. And we haven’t even spoken about ultimate badass babe Michelle Rodriguez who plays Shé- combining physicality and sexuality all whilst wearing an eye-patch. How does she manage that?

MC2-DF-00162.CR2And, how could I forget assassin, Le Chamleon, played by several different actors, including Lady Gaga. Phew! Rodriguez packs so much in to Machete Kills- it really is a rollercoaster ride filled with cameo after cameo making it a bonkers reel of badass babes and death defying gun and knife fights.

If you’re looking for character development you should have left your Machete addiction with the first film and never look back because Machete doesn’t ever evolve.

There is no real reason to this plot or these characters but it is undeniably enjoyable- providing you get the point- and that point is, Rodriguez doesn’t want you to take this seriously, or to engage with the character’s on a three dimensional level. They’re cool to look like comic book style heroes and villains with infamous one-liners, [“Machete don’t tweet” was the latest adaptation of his ‘Machete don’t’ tagline] and shiny guns.

In a world where action movies are a bit lame and take themselves too seriously it’s refreshing to have an oddball action-comedy like Machete Kills make an appearance.

If you’re going to enjoy Machete Kills it’ll be for three reason: one, you saw Machete and loved it; two, you love Grindhouse cinema or three, you have one mad sense of humour and a strong stomach for all things bloody.

Whether you like this franchise or not, one thing is for certain: Machete don’t care.

VERDICT: [rating=4]

About The Author

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing - although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.