Machete Kills


Last week, in my review of Argento’s Dracula 3D, I wrote: “For me, there are 3 basic levels that I can enjoy a movie on.  The first level is how good it is.  The acting, story, cinematography, direction, and originality of it.  Is it clever?  Charming?  Interesting?  Does it have anything to say?  Some movies knock several of these out of the ball park, and those are great movies.
If it fails the first level, then we drop down to the second level- does it have at least one or two of the above things done well enough that it makes up for lacking in the others?  There’s a lot of fairly bad movies that can at least craft a good atmosphere, or have a clever twist, or good comic timing; something cool about it.
Failing the above two levels, the last one is if it’s at least entertaining in some way.  Is it fun?  Over the top?  Charismatic?  Does it pack a ton of crazy shit in it to  make up for the bad story and acting?  Or is it at least so bad it’s ridiculous, and therefore fun to laugh at?”.  
Machete Kills is totally a 100% perfect example of the third level.  It has everything (except subtlety and realism)- more beheadings and machete kills than any Friday the 13th, crazy, over the top violence and characters, tough ass chics, a wild sense of humor, disembowelments, death by helicopter blade, boob guns, a laser that when you’re shot by it turns you inside out, gratuitous everything, someone getting shot about every 45 seconds, and Tom Savini.  So tho it’s not exactly a well put together cinematic cultural treasure, it’s entertaining and fun.

It did T E R R I B L E at the box office, but I recommend it.  I saw it at a bargain matinee, and I didn’t feel like I wasted my money.  You just have to have a good sense of humor and be in the mood for an over-the-top fun goofy violent grindhouse movie.

The story is about Machete Cortez, who fights evil, corruption, and the Mexican drug cartels every chance he gets.  When a terrorist with a nuclear bomb aims it at the White House, the President (Charlie Sheen) calls him up to go kill the terrorists.  He runs into trouble when the terrorist turns out to have a split personality (one good and one bad personality) and wires the bomb into a heart monitor that will send it off to the White House if his heart rate stops.  They also have to deal with a gang of heavily armed angry prostitutes and am assassin named El Camelion who can change his appearance almost to a supernatural degree (played by Waltor Goggins (from Predators and Django Unchained), Cuba Gooding, Jr, and Lady Gaga), before they finally meet the nefarious mind who masterminded the whole thing.

You can’t take this movie seriously, of course.  It’s along the lines of absolutely awesome movies like The Toxic Avenger and Street Trash, only a lot cleaner (and with more money and cgi, so not as cool).  It’s unbelievable and over the top and funny, and I enjoyed it (I liked it better than the first Machete, or director Robert Rodriguez’s grindhouse tribute he did with Quentin Tarantino Grindhouse, which I liked ok (mostly for the stuff before and between the movies).  It could have used a little more substance, instead of blowing from one zany action piece to another (just a nice moment here and there for it to all sink in), and was a little preachy in a couple of places (but not too bad or unwarranted), but entertaining enough for the likes of me.


It’s too bad it did so bad at the box office with all the crap out there that should be doing worse, but you know what they say.  There’s no accounting for taste…

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