Film review: Machete Kills makes little sense and is a lot of fun

  • 0 COMMENTS
Machete Kills, directed by Roberto Rodriquez and starring Danny Trejo, Charlie Sheen, and Sofia Vergara (center), is the third exploitation film based on the Grindhouse trailers. Machete Kills, directed by Roberto Rodriquez and starring Danny Trejo, Charlie Sheen, and Sofia Vergara (center), is the third exploitation film based on the Grindhouse trailers.

The early reviews for Machete Kills have largely been unkind, and the big gripe appears to be that Machete Kills is too long, too repetitive, and too super violent. How many of these critics have seen a Robert Rodriguez movie before?

I think that if you choose to see a Rodriguez film—whether your editor directs you to it, or you choose to see it on date night (and what a date night that would be)—you get what you get and should shut up. The only question worth asking is, “Does this movie live up to Rodriguez’s own standards—standards being, of course, subjective?”

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Massive amounts of blood? Check. Incomprehensible plot? Check. Lots of really famous actors and non-actors turning up in ridiculously tiny and absurd parts? Check.

It doesn’t really matter if it all makes sense. This is schlock for the sake of schlock, pure and simple. And in its own way, doesn’t it make sense that Mel Gibson, who is a Holocaust non-denial denier, plays a man who orchestrates the destruction of every person on the planet, save for about 20? Yes, it does.

Doesn’t it make sense that Michelle Rodriguez, who looks great, even with one eye, would lose her second eye? Yes, it does.

And finally, isn’t it a little creepy that Alexa Vega, whom Rodriguez has been working with since she was about 12, is now a hitwoman who wears chaps and little else? Yes, it’s a little creepy. But all of Rodriguez’s films are a little creepy. For God’s sake, in Machete, our lead and antihero (Danny Trejo) grabs onto a man’s small intestine and uses it as a rope to keep himself from going splat when he jumps out a high-floor window (just wait until you see the innards gags here).

Sure, some of it—nearly all of it—is tasteless. But perhaps we should all just pay out $10, sit back, let a bunch of people kill the shit out of each other for laughs on the big screen, and then let it go. At least Machete Kills knows it’s a mockery. Quentin Tarantino’s movies have the same sex, violence, and brouhaha, but they take themselves so seriously they’re hard to enjoy (see: Inglorious Basterds, Kill Bill Vol. 2, and worst of all, Death Proof).

So here’s what to expect when you see Machete Kills: Roughly a dozen beheadings; several dozen severed limbs; one burned face; many people shot in the head; Sofia Vergara, playing it so over the top that her character on “Modern Family” looks downright normal; subtle and not-so-subtle jabs at America’s attitude toward Mexico; a superdumb and useless performance by Charlie Sheen (billed by his birth name Carlos Estevez, and looking very much like his father) as the President of the United States.

Again, I reiterate: It doesn’t make sense. The plot doesn’t matter (which is why I’ve skirted explaining it here). It’s dumb, long and dumb. But boy, is it a lot of fun.

Playing this week

Baggage Claim
Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

Blue Jasmine
Regal Downtown Mall Cinema 6

The Butler
Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

Captain Phillips
Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

Closed Circuit
Carmike Cinema 6

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

Don Jon
Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

Enough Said
Regal Downtown Mall Cinema 6

Fruitvale Station
Carmike Cinema 6

Gravity
Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

Grown Ups 2
Carmike Cinema 6

Inequality for All
Regal Downtown Mall Cinema 6

In a World
Regal Downtown Mall Cinema 6

Insidious Chapter 2
Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

Kick-Ass 2
Carmike Cinema 6

Monster’s University
Carmike Cinema 6

Prisoners
Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

Romeo and Juliet
Regal Downtown Mall Cinema 6

Runner Runner
Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

Rush
Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX

The Smurfs
Carmike Cinema 6

The Spectacular Now
Regal Downtown Mall Cinema 6

The Way, Way Back
Regal Downtown Mall Cinema 6

The World’s End
Carmike Cinema 6

Movie houses

Carmike Cinema 6
973-4294

Regal Downtown Mall Cinema 6
979-7669

Regal Stonefield 14 and IMAX
244-3213

Comment Policy