'Machete Kills': Taking over the top to new heights

Austin American-StatesmanOctober 10, 2013 

Danny Trejo, left, returns as Machete, tasked by the president with stopping Mendez (Demián Bichir), a madman with a bomb.

PHOTO BY ROBERT RODRIGUEZ

  • MOVIE REVIEW

    'Machete Kills'

    ★★★☆☆

    R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and some sexual content. Open Road Films. 1:47. Fayette Mall, Hamburg, Nicholasville, Movie Tavern, Richmond, Woodhill.

"Machete kills," President Rathcock says during, um, Machete Kills. "That's what he does."

Say what you will about junky genre pictures with leaps in logic, ultra-violence and one impossible thing after another. Such movies harness cinema's more overwhelming qualities better than most well-meaning indie flicks about things like "real people" and "relationships." But don't go to Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills expecting deep thoughts on anything. At all.

Shot in 29 days with an I-suppose-it-counts-as-a-script by Kyle Ward from a story by Rodriguez, Machete Kills stars the always-entertaining Danny Trejo as the titular ex- Federale and "enemy of the cartels." It follows the man with the giant knife on a mission on behalf of the American government.

After an ambush, Machete is saved from lynching down South by a timely phone call from Rathcock (Carlos Estevez, aka Charlie Sheen), who needs the man who "is Mexico," as the president puts it, to stop a Mexican madman with a bomb.

Said madman is named Mendez (Demián Bichir). Bichir, all squints and ratlike faces, nearly scampers away with Machete Kills. His Mendez is the over-the-toppiest thing in a movie that can barely see the top from its altitude.

Things explode, heads are removed, and mayhem ensues.

Look for Amber Heard as Miss San Antonio, Machete's government handler; Sofia Vergara as a deadly brothel madam; and cameos by Cuba Gooding Jr., Walt Goggins and Lady Gaga. Mel Gibson plays Voz, the big bad guy.

What is most fun about Machete Kills is its sense of itself. It is the most comic-booky movie you will see this year.


MOVIE REVIEW

'Machete Kills'

★★★☆☆

R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and some sexual content. Open Road Films. 1:47. Fayette Mall, Hamburg, Nicholasville, Movie Tavern, Richmond, Woodhill.

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