Things I liked about the first “Machete.” Blood, guts and beautiful women.
Things I liked about “Machete Kills.” Ditto. But, with some serious reservations.
I wish the grindhouse sequel was equal to the original. The cast is revved up. The action is nonstop. No shortage of beautiful women. But, it’s not the same. Everything is so fast and forced this time around. Nothing flows.
Danny Trejo returns as the hard-to-kill ex-Federale. No less than the President of the United States (Charlie Sheen) wants Machete to track down a Mexican psychopath (Demian Bichir) who threatens to blow up Washington D.C. with a nuclear warhead. Machete is up to the task but faces threats in every direction. Pulling the strings behind the scenes is an arms dealer played by Mel Gibson. The final confrontation, of course, will be Mel versus Machete. But, getting to the last act is tedious, despite the nonstop action.
Trejo is one of the my favorite character actors, but even he can’t bring it home with this over-plotted action flick. It seems his every waking moment means surviving assassinations, or killing his enemies. The script is so crammed with action scenes that it literally wore me out and not in a good way. “Overkill” both figuratively and literally.
The film’s pacing is rushed and the story has a very slapdash quality. My best advice to writer/producer/director/editor Robert Rodriguez is take it easy next time. Slow down. Think it out more. “Machete” is fun. “Machete Kills” gives me a headache. Grade: D+