It opens with a funky spoof sci-fi trailer for Machete Kills Again…In Space! but the main event is the follow-up to 2010’s crazed slaughter-em-up Machete, which itself began life as a gimmick trailer in the Rodriguez/Tarantino flick Grindhouse. You have been warned...
Blade-wielding hero Machete (Danny Trejo) is supported here by a beefed-up cast headed by Mel Gibson on top form as a devious villain and the lovely Amber Heard, who will soon lead the big screen adaptation of Martin Amis novel London Fields.
The sequel packs a slicker, slightly more coherent plot than the original but is just as giddy in tearing up the screen with a wanton blast of over-the-top ultra-violence.
If someone tells you that Machete Kills is a romantic comedy – as I may have said to my wife to see if she would accompany me to check it – take that with a very large spoonful of salt.
But if you go in to this film expecting a hugely entertaining, sneeringly violent, action adventure comedy then you’ll come out smiling and hoping that the promised next chapter in outer space actually gets put into production.
Director Robert Rodriguez unleashes a manic revenge potboiler of fun with such inventive ideas as an assassin named Chameleón who is played by a host of actors including Cuba Gooding Jr, Lady Gaga and Antonio Banderas, each with a deadly new ‘face’. He also has fun with grimy jump cuts, grainy film stock and an ingenious ‘put on your 3D glasses now’ moment when Heard seduces Trejo.
There really is an excess of badass babes, too – kind of like Sin City, which was also directed by Rodriguez – including Sartana (Jessica Alba), Desdemona (Sofia Vergara), Luz (Michelle Rodriguez), Cereza (Vanessa Hudgens) and Killjoy (Alexa Vega).
You’ll probably never forget the scene where Desdemona straps on a truly insane ‘machine gun bra’ but that isn’t even the pinnacle of the insanity going on here.
We haven’t even mentioned Charlie Sheen as the President of the USA – using his birth name of Carlos Estevez – and Demian ‘The Heat’ Bichir who almost steals the show as Gibson’s main evil enforcer, so stand well back as Machete Kills explodes in all directions.
All in all Machete Kills is a master class in Friday night entertainment and if you’ve ever enjoyed an action movie, you owe it to yourself to check this out.