“Machete Kills” – Review & Interview by MovieManMenzel

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Machete kills and he doesn’t give a tweet about it!

Every few months or so, Philadelphia gets a few stars who decide to stop by the city of brotherly love and promote a film. The last one was back in August, when Courtney Solomon came to promote Getaway, which lets just be honest, no one really cared about that film at all. Now, just two months later, Robert Rodriguez, Danny Trejo, and Alexa Vega have come to Philly to promote Machete Kills, which is the sequel to cult hit Machete, which opened back in 2010.

Now, I will admit that I was pretty shocked when I heard that Machete had enough of a following to warrant a sequel. I’m not saying that the first film wasn’t good, but like most of Robert Rodriguez’s films, it was a film that had a small cult audience following and didn’t really do gangbusters at the Box Office. In the sequel, Machete () is hired by the President of the United States ( aka Carlos Estevez) to head to Mexico and take down an arms dealer who is trying to destroy the United States by launching a rocket into space. If Machete, decides to take on this mission, he will be rewarded by not only being known as a hero, but will also be given full citizenship as a US citzen.

If you are a huge fan of Rodriguez’s Machete and his Grindhouse double feature with Quentin Tarantino, well I am going to shock you by saying that Machete Kills is far more over the top than either of those films. This movie pushes the crazy and at times I seriously could not believe what I was watching. This film is one of those movies that just like the original film will become a cult classic. While the film doesn’t follow the same path as the first one in terms of storyline, it does take the absurd nature of the first film and runs extremely far with it.

How over the top is this film? Well for starters you have  playing a character named Desdemona, who owns a strip club, hates men, and throughout the film wears a bra that shoots bullets. Yea, its kind of like the Fembots from Austin Powers, however, only more over the top and with really crazy dialogue like when she tells a guy she’s beating that she “chewed her father’s balls off.” If that isn’t enough for one film, you also have  as Mendez, who suffers from multiple personality disorder where he goes from killing everyone in one scene to wanting to save the world in the next. Lastly, just because there is so much craziness to talk about, I must mention the overall over the top violence in this film. I seriously kid you not; there is a scene where Machete pulls out someone’s organs and throws them at a helicopter’s propeller, which as you can guess, leads the character to be dragged by his organs into the propeller and chopped up. This is all shown on screen.

Now, I will not deny for a second that this is without a doubt a stupid film. It is an extremely dumb movie, but every once in a while I like to sit back and just turn my brain off. I think those who are fans of Robert Rodriguez’s previous R rated outings like Once Upon a Time in Mexico and From Dusk to Dawn will appreciate the ridiculousness of this film. They will also probably notice several throwback moments or homages, if you will to some of the previous films of Robert Rodriguez. There are certain elements in this film that will have fanboys and fangirls laughing to themselves as they connect the dots to how what happened in a certain scene was connected to one of Rodriguez’s earlier films.

Machete Kills is definitely a film that was made to entertain and while it does that, I must admit there are some issues I had with the film. The biggest is that movie opens with this teaser trailer for the third installment in the franchise, which seemed to really connect with my audience.  The problem with that, however, wasn’t that it was in the film, but simply that the film just uses it again at the end. What I am basically saying is that the opening 5 minutes and closing 5 minutes are almost exactly the same, minus a joke or two, which in the end made it feel like they didn’t know how to end the film so they just played that clip again instead.

While I completely understand what Rodriguez was going for with the film especially since it is a Grindhouse film after all and at the same time was acting like a parody film of spy movies, it really became too much to handle in the second half. The dialogue ranged from laugh out loud to absolutely cringeworthy. I’m serious some of the lines in this film were awful. It also seemed that for every violent moment within the film, one of the characters stopped their scene and asked Rodriguez “how can we go further with this scene to make it even more shocking?” I think even the hardcore fans after a while, thought the film became too stupid and I think thats why some of them are actually pointing out that while they enjoyed Machete Kills, the first one was better overall because it was more grounded as a film.

All in All, I can’t say that I loved Machete Kills, but I will admit that I had fun with it. I think one of the biggest things that made me adore the film was the casting decisions that ranged from Carmen Cortez herself, Alexa Vega to Mel “Don’t forget I am still a racist” Gibson. The movie is the definition of mindless over the top fun that will definitely be enjoyed more by the Grindhouse fans rather than the mainstream audience. I think while this movie won’t be a huge hit in theaters, it will develop more of a following on Blu Ray and I truly believe a third one will be made regardless of the films box office success. Its hard for me to actually rate this film because its one of those films that falls into the category its so bad its good so I guess I will give it a rather neutral grade of a 6 out of 10. As Rodriguez stated in the Q&A following the film, this is definitely one for the fans!

MovieManMenzel’s final rating for Machete Kills is a 6 out of 10.

MovieManMenzel and Alexa Vega

Please check out the entire roundtable interview audio below. This interview features Alexa Vega, Danny Trejo, and Robert Rodriguez.

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