Sunday, October 27, 2013

Machete Kills

Machete Kills is a B-movie. It's Mexploitation. It's stupid, vulgar, and ridiculous. I enjoyed it.

This is a sequel to 2010's Machete, which was based on a fake trailer that was part of Robert Rodriquez and Quentin Tarantino's 2007 B-movie homage Grindhouse. It stars Danny Trejo, who is Hollywood's go-to man when they need a Mexican villain. He plays the titular Machete and, as the title suggests, his main function is to kill people.

The plot is basically unimportant, not very coherent, and insanely unrealistic. But if you go into this movie looking for coherence or realism, you're doing it very, very wrong. If you're looking for a movie where guys with guns routinely run into machete range instead of shooting, you're on the right track. And if your idea of a good movie includes the electrocution scene in the trailer, you're the target audience.

The acting is nothing to write home about either, though Rodriguez does manage to once again get a lot of big names for his low-budget film. The best of these is Charlie Sheen, and I love that his credit is "and introducing Carlos Estevez." Speaking of budget, the first Machete cost $10 million, and I really hope they didn't spend much more than that on this one, considering it has the 8th-worst opening weekend among movies released in 2500 or more theaters.

Sadly, the terrible box office results for this film might deprive us of the final installment in the Machete trilogy, Machete Kills Again: In Space, the trailer for which runs in front of Machete Kills. Hopefully Rodriguez has enough money and influence from his Spy Kids and Sin City franchises to get the third film done. It will be as terrible as the first two, but it seems a shame to leave this mesmerizingly bad series unfinished.

Explaining why I enjoyed this movie is somewhat difficult; it doesn't have much in the way of good qualities. It is, however, enthusiastically invested in its badness, which I find charming. I can imagine the cast and crew enjoying making a film that doesn't even try to be good, and laughing that someone spent millions of dollars so they could do so.

More concretely, I enjoyed the brainless-action-movie aspect of Machete Kills, and the spy parody aspect. There were actually some pretty good action bits, and some really inventive ways of killing bad guys. I've seen movies with ten times the budget of this one that weren't much better, though they did have better production values of course.

If you're in the mood for a B-movie some time, Machete Kills might be worth watching, though it's probably a good idea to wait for Netflix.

1. Gravity
2. Much Ado About Nothing
3. Now You See Me
4. The World's End
5. Despicable Me 2
6. Star Trek: Into Darkness
7. Oblivion
8. Pacific Rim
9. Rush
10. Iron Man 3
11. Kick Ass 2
12. Man of Steel
13. Jack the Giant Slayer
14. Beautiful Creatures
15. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
16. The Family
17. RIPD
18. Oz the Great and Powerful
19. Epic
20. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
21. The Wolverine
22. Elysium
23. Monsters University
24. Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters
25. The Grandmaster
26. Machete Kills
27. The Great Gatsby
28. The Lone Ranger
29. This is the End

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