Cinematic Releases: Machete Kills

Check out Michelle's review of Machete Kills

The first Machete film was a great homage to exploitation films. It was silly, crazy and hilarious in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. Machete Kills retains some of the absurdity of the first film but falls short in the creativity department. It’s still directed by Robert Rodriguez and keeps his frenetic style and panache but the convoluted story line and overlong running time hampers it quite a bit.

I always enjoy watching Danny Trejo anytime he is on screen and Machete was the role he was born to play.  Since Machete doesn’t have much to say that doesn’t involve decapitations or sex, he is still the highlight of the film. There are a lot of surprise cameos from high-profile actors/singers and the way Rodriguez incorporated them is very clever.  Charlie Sheen, or as he is credited in the film, Carlos Estévez, is pretty funny as the President of the United States and Mel Gibson does a turn as a villain for once. You can tell they weren’t taking it very seriously and it makes for many funny one-liners.

One thing that I really disliked (and this is a personal pet-peeve of mine), is the use of digital blood for the gore effects.  It never looks realistic and it cheapens the whole feel of the movie. I know it’s supposed to be a “B-movie” but it makes it look like a SyFy direct-to-TV movie and it’s very distracting. For the love of all that is holy, Tom Savini, the gore master himself, is in this film—they couldn’t have had him work on the make up and practical effects while he was on set?! It’s weird because ten years ago, if a movie had CG that meant it had a huge budget, now CG is used to save money on special effects. Get some cornstarch and some food coloring and work it out!

The movie is about twenty minutes too long and drags in several parts.  It does set itself up for what could be an epic sequel so I hope this does well enough to fund that venture. Machete Kills isn’t a horrible movie but it doesn’t live up to the gritty, grindhouse style of the first one. It’s average at best but does have some fun moments to keep you entertained.  I would wait for the matinee price to go see this one.

-Review by Michelle Kisner