Sunday, February 2, 2014

Machete Kills

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! The franchise that gives hope to all those who make fan trailers on the internet.

Machete Kills – 1 out of 5

Just take a second to let this fact sink in: Machete Kills is a sequel to a film that was based entirely on a fake trailer made for a movie meant to simultaneously honor and lampoon the Grindhouse experience. People complain about Hollywood running out of ideas due to the amount of sequels, remakes and reboots we get but sometimes the original ideas aren’t the best either. This movie came about because of a fake trailer!!!! (I'm sorry but it bears repeating.)

And Machete looks like he is just gearing to go for this one...

The Mendez character is so annoying that even seeing the
U.S. destroyed by his missile was worth it just to get
his character killed.
Machete (Danny Trejo) is back! After losing the love of his life, Machete is forced back into service after the President (Charlie Sheen Carlos Estevez) recruits him to head into Mexico and stop the deranged Mendez (Demian Bichir). Reluctantly, Machete agrees but discovers that Mendez has a missile aimed at the United States and the missile is connected to his heart; if his heart stops, the weapon launches. To make matters worse, Mendez uses a fail-safe in the system that will stop his heart in 24 hours and puts a bounty on his and Machete’s head—you know, just to make sure the missile is launched. Now Machete must get to the only man who can disarm the weapon, the man who invented it; Voz (Mel Gibson). The only problem is he’s being hunted by every cartoon character that Robert Rodriguez can think of. Machete must battle his way through a brothel madam with a machine gun bra (Sofia Vergara), the Cartel, and even a bounty hunter that has the habit of changing his face called El Camaleón (and is played by Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Walton Goggins and Cuba Gooding Jr.).

Hey!  A hired killer who is always in disguise!  There's no way this could fail in
creating action in Machete Kills...(Spoiler did fail.)

Why the hell is Paul Mitchell in this movie?
I honestly enjoyed the phony baloney trailer of Machete. I thought it was just a hilarious send up of a Grindhouse movie, as well as a great gag on the concept of the movie trailer. It was simple and witty as hell…the actually movie that was spawned from it, however…I didn’t care for that so much. While I can see why audiences had fun with the dark comedy and its over-the-top nature, the film was filled with too much of the usual stuff that annoys me with Robert Rodriguez; mainly, his seemingly inability to make a decent film without someone named Quentin Tarantino to be there to hold his hand and show him how to make a cohesive and coherent narrative. The problem I had with Machete wasn’t the silliness (that was meant to be there) but the problem I had was how sloppy it look. Rodriguez has been making films for awhile and he STILL can’t seem to tell a story that actually flows well and doesn’t look like it was made by a first time filmmaker (however, Desperado was amazing…and was probably just a lucky fluke for the man).

Wait...people still give a shit about Charlie Sheen?  I thought the Winning Era
was over.

The same level of amateur filmmaking comes into play with Machete’s sequel. However, Rodriguez’s inability to make a Grindhouse film that is actually smart and clever in its satire aside, the biggest problem I had with this film was the fact it doesn’t have the same spirit of the first film and actually feels like another filmmaker is making a Machete parody starring the guy who actually played Machete. 

Looks like Bane and Spider-Man's offspring have become hired goons.

Keep plugging at it, Hudgens, you'll escape the Mouse's
shadow someday.
The story is sloppy (even for a movie meant to tease the poor edits and half-assed stories of Grindhouse features) and it ends up making the film less like another Machete adventure and more like someone is trying to make fun of Rodriguez and the first film. The way Rodriguez created a clumsy narrative that basically boils down to a script that probably reads, “Machete goes to this place and is attacked by some hot chicks and one has a titty gun! Then he goes to this place and is attacked by that Poker Face girl—OH! And there’s a spaceship and William Wallace will be our bad guy!”  This, and along with his incessant need to make the fight scenes even more ridiculous and over-the-top than the last film, didn’t resonate as campy fun for me and it just look like someone was making fun of the fake trailer and resulting film. The groan-inducing one-liners that, often, barely make sense for the scene and exchange they are sprinkled in does little to help this feeling of making fun of the property. Shit, Danny Trejo’s lackluster performance and the overall sense that he doesn’t want to be in the film at all doesn’t help things.

Machete walks like that suit is giving him a wedgie.

The only real saving grace this movie has is the performance from Mel Gibson. His past insanity aside, the guy is really giving his all in the film and comes off as a very charismatic, quirky villain that definitely has the spirit of the genre of films this movie is intended to parody and doesn’t look like a carton that Rodriguez came up with while sitting on the toilet while on a cocaine bender.

Mel Gibson wants to cup your balls.

"Hey, check out my Bat'leth!  I bought it at Comic-Con!"
Honestly, Mel was the only character I could actually get into (and the only thing that saved me from giving this a zero). The rest of the characters are too inane to actually take seriously or even find humor in. Strangely, each character has the potential to be something unique and clever but, and here’s another example of Rodriguez’s weak writing skills, all the potential these characters have get wasted. Most characters, the ones that actually have some back story and aren’t just around to chew on the scenery and make Rodriguez giggle, have some sort of tragic history that leads them to be the outlandish people they are. While Rodriguez gives all of them the opportunity to tell their story (or show it through flashbacks), he never actually utilizes it to make them actual characters and, ultimately, they are all just scene fillers in order to get the film to a feature running length and pad the film out with fight scenes for Machete.

It's amazing that this film has two Rodriguez-es (Rodrigui?) that are both very bad at
their chosen profession.

Seriously, only Robert Rodriguez could fuck up a character
this interesting.
For example, El Camaleón seems like a really interesting character—the person is a bounty hunter who keeps changing his face after each hit. This not only provides the opportunity for numerous actors (and a pop artist) to play the character but it has the makings for a real threat to Machete because the character can be, literally, anyone. However, it was obvious that Rodriguez wanted this character because it allowed him to jam in more stars for the film and, sadly, El Camaleón is wasted and his end (and overall placement) in the film is very unsatisfying.

I'm not a fan of Gaga's music but she was nominated for a Golden Razzie and I'm not entirely
sure why because she really wasn't that bad.

Of course, it could be worse…a character could be added for no other reason to fulfill a need of having boob guns…

Stormtroopers have better aim than the accuracy those things are capable of.

And then later giving them a dick gun that will, no doubt, create confused feelings in the target audience of prepubescent boys who could easily replace the writers of this film and it would still be the same movie…except, they might actually be less F-bombs thrown in pointlessly because even young teenage boys who think that the more you say the word “fuck” the cooler you look have their limits.

Wow...this fucking thing again.

Nothing about Machete Kills (aside from Mel Gibson) worked for me. Aside from looking like someone else made the movie to make fun of Robert Rodriguez and the excess he created in the first one, the film comes off as trying too hard and failing with every attempt. It tries really hard to be funny and, in doing so, ends up looking like open mic night at the local coffee shop that is trying its hand at a comedy night after years of poetry and acoustic folk artists. It wants to be hyper-violent and be the coolest motherfuckers walking but, in doing so, just looks like it’s putting in all the effort without actually having the balls to back it up. In the end, it’s just another messy film from Robert Rodriguez that feels like it was put together on the fly and without much thought.

Please, I beg you, God I don't worship or believe in, don't let this movie get made.

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