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Machete Kills Review: A Wild Ride

As a fan of the original Machete, I was curious to check the sequel out. After having seen it, I can say that I wouldn't necessarily put it on the same level as the first, but it is every bit as cool. I went in to this film thinking I knew what it would be about, and I was right for some of it, but I also disovered that I would be completely thrown for a loop. Machete (Danny Trejo) is recruited by the President (Charlie Sheen) to prevent the destruction of Washington D.C. The mission requires him to stop the radical revolutionary Mendez (Demián Bichir) from firing a missile into the United States. Sounds simple and straight forward enough, right? Well, it turns out that there is more beneath the surface of this mission. I won't say what, but I will mention that it involves eccentric billionaire Luther Voz (Mel Gibson). Just what has Machete gotten himself into this time? Machete and Ms. San Antonio Machete's story takes an interesting turn in this film. He was already the ex-Federale turned vigilante. However here, he goes from being the ex-Federale turned vigilante turned spy, which then takes him into James Bond-esque territory. And it's appropriate too, because he meets his own Hugo Drax in Mel Gibson's Voz who has a plan that is very similar to Drax's. Does that take everything over the top? Well, if we're being fair, the whole thing is already over the top. If there is a place beyond that, Machete Kills is that place beyond, especially as it sets everything up for the final Machete adventure, which will take place in space. Let's talk quality of acting. It almost makes one's head pop (and I mean that affectionately in the way it would pop in a Machete flick, blood spattering every which way) when thinking about the number of notable actors and celebrities making an appearance.  Nearly every newcomer added something to the experience. Charlie Sheen (or Carlos Estevez, his birthname), appears in a hilarious turn as a non-PC womanizing president who smokes and curses like a sailor. His presence in this movie reminded me of earlier roles in the Scary Movie series. He hits the perfect notes here. Sofia Vergara is a welcomed fresh face to the group. Her exaggerated performance as the mother hen of a brothel is right on point here and feels much more controlled than what you might see in Modern Family. Sofia and the Ladies The real show stoppers here though, were Mel Gibson and Demián Bichir. Gibson does a great job stealing scenes here as Voz. He is having a blast and looks very comfortable, as if he's been a part of the team all along. It's almost a crime that he doesn't have more screen time. Bichir's turn as the bi-polar madman and former member of the Mexcian drug cartel turned revolutionary is every bit intriguing as it is fun to watch. He also seemed a bit short changed on time to me, but sometimes less can be more. The bottom line in all of this is that Machete Kills is entertaining in every sense. It is nonsensical in the ways that it should be and crazy violent in the ways you expect it to be. I will say that the story went a little too far out for my taste for a character like Machete, but I can still appreciate it as a good time and respect Rodriguez's boldness to go all out with this one. Would I recommend it? If you've seen the first one, check this out, but you might do well to wait until it hits home video.
Rating
6.5

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About / Bio
Steven Armstrong is an editor and staff writer for Entertainment Fuse's Movie Department. He also is a creative writer of fiction and poetry, an occasional filmmaker and electronic musician who enjoys reading, writing, video games, movies and any good story.

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