We don’t claim to be a movie director but what we do know is you shouldn’t send a poet to do a grindhouse job.
We’re just going to say it: ‘Machete Kills’ is what happens when you milk an already exploited cash cow dry, and then make beef jerky out of its shrivelled carcass.
This is painfully evident when the film begins with a trailer for the third entry of the Machete series, “Machete Kills Again… in Space”. A third one? Set in space? No of course not. It’s a fake trailer for a second sequel to a real movie based on another fake trailer. Or is it? We’re already confused.
For the uninitiated, Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) returns for another insane instalment of Robert Rodriguez’s kitschy, B-grade rendition of secret agents in ‘Machete Kills’ a sequel to ‘Machete’ (2010). And just like most sequels, it falls flat.
The only good thing about 'Machete Kills' is the eye candy
It’s not that it lacks any of the over-the-top, Grindhouse-esque camp and violence, it’s just the jokes have gotten so old that they are DOA.
And nothing reeks of desperation like cramming as many big names as you can into a meaningless, one-dimensional montage of cameo roles. We don’t want to spoil the plot but Lady Gaga’s first big screen debut is anything but pretty – and you thought the meat dress was bad.
Lady Gaga is surprisingly tame here
But we digress. Machete returns as the ex-Federale-turned-American secret agent, commissioned by the US President (Charlie Sheen, credited under his birth name Carlos Estevez) to sneak into Mexico and stop Jekyll-and-Hyde revolutionary “Madman” Mendez (Demian Bichir) hell bent on causing a nuclear holocaust.
Along the way, Machete has to contend with a maniacal arms dealer Luz (Mel Gibson, who is clearly enjoying himself a bit too much), a vengeful Madame (Sofia Vergara), a racist sheriff (William Sadler), a cloned henchman (Marko Zorar) and a covert assassin named The Chameleon, whose sole purpose seems to be to have Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Walton Goggins and Cuba Gooding Jr. deliver their cameo lines with as little finesse as possible.
Boob machine guns and penis pistols proliferate; Machete's handler (Amber Heard) is not who you think she is – not that you should attempt to do any thinking while watching this film, don’t do it, it just hurts your brain.
Whatever shred of novelty that may have existed at the beginning of the film is quickly snuffed out as it lumbers along.
Machete deadpans throughout the movie that he “don’t text”, “don’t tweet” and “don’t fail”. What else Machete “don’t”? Oh yes, care that his movie is of any value at all, obviously.
It’s not a good sign – well the one star would have been indicative – when we compare this movie to a plate of “level 99 spiciness” Buffalo wings.
‘Machete Kills’ starts off hot, then unpleasant, and then your senses flatline. You’d probably regret it.
Okay, we just have to say it: “I told you so”.