‘Machete Kills’ excites, exploits over-the-top thrills

By Diego Olivares

Anyone who comes in to watch a by-the-numbers serious action flick should stay at home. For those who seen the first film, “Machete,” will know what to expect in its “Machete Kills” with some outrageous surprises.

This time around, ex-federale turned gun for hire, Machete, played by Danny Trejo, hired by the U.S. President, played by Carlos Estevez, for a new mision. Machete must take out an evil criminal mastermind who in league with a crazed arms dealer, played by Mel Gibson.

Along the way, several odd characters, including a psychotic mother, a revolutionary freedom fighter, and an assassin with a special gift, come gunning toward Machete’s path of destruction. All the while, Machete tries to stop a strange, yet deadly plot that threatens the world.

The film is cartoonishly over-the-top, but that’s part of its charm. Rodriguez creates a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

This gives the movie a self-awarness that makes it all the more enjoyable, separating it from serious actions thrillers.

The action itself is well executed. It is done in a way where the audience knows what going on.

At times, the film’s uses of real stunt work adds realism to the action.

In addition to the action, the film has some good comical moments as a nice balance against the action.

Keeping with the film’s outrageous tone, Rodriguez makes super offbeat casting choices. The actors were able to get into the film’s campy mood without sweat. Danny Trejo returns as the title character. He cool and calm when he needs to be, and dangerous when called for.

Mel Gibson is perfectly cast as the film’s lead villian. Gibson has fun playing a bad guy, all the while wonderfully chewing the scenary.

While the film is goofy fun, there were elements that were rather flawed.

The film’s story at times felt somewhat underdeveloped in some places. In addition, it felt as if there wasn’t much care placed on the story itself.

The visual style looked very cheap as well.

It looks less like a Hollywood film, and more like the kind of film found on Showtime late at night. The film’s CGI also was poorly done.

Of course, there is the chance that the poor visual style help sgive the film its campiness.

With all its flaws, “Machete Kills” manage to still deliver its insane entertainment for the simple joy.

An audience members can still watch this movie and not really care what kind of flaws a film like this as it is pure escapisim at its core.

It’s not meant to be a work of cinematic art, and it shouldn’t. It is  rather a piece of weird, pop exploitation entertainment. Rodriguez’s “Machete Kills” is a campy, over the top, yet enjoyable and hyperactive piece of exploitation filmmaking.

“Machete Kills” is rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and sexual content.

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