Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Have you ever watched a movie that’s part of a franchise and thought…what in the world? I’m sure you have, but if any movie has that ability universally, is Machete Kills. Yes, the first film was cartoonish and unbelievable…but it was done tastefully. It’s not that Machete Kills was done distastefully as much as it was made way too much like a sci-fi…which isn’t a genre that fits with the franchise. The switch in gears for genre reminds me most of James Bond’s film, Moonraker. Now that I think of it…a lot of this film screams Moonraker.
Machete is back again, and by now, he’s been called this legend that is incapable of dying. The President of the United States hires him to track down this guy down in Mexico who is threatening the United States. This terrorist claims that he will destroy Washinton D.C. with a nuclear missile if they don’t erase the Mexican drug cartel from history. So, off Machete goes, ordered to kill the terrorist…which proves to be difficult when the terrorist shows Machete that the missile is wired to his heart…if he dies…the missile is fired. Instead of killing him, Machete must protect the man as they attempt to cross the border. Along the way, several assassins are geared to murder both of them.
You should be worried as soon as the film begins…well…before it begins actually. The first thing that the film shows you is a trailer to Machete Kills Again, the sequel that was teased at the end of Machete, along with Machete Kills. The first thing this teaser makes you think is that it’s a complete joke, like the first film, made just because they can. The trailer shows Machete kill bad guys and getting the babes…in space. Gotta be a joke, right…nnnope. That trailer basically spoils this film, because the film has to get from point A to point B…which of course, is space. So, this film tells us how he gets to that point…which is also unbelievable.
Remember that crazy villain in Moonraker that wanted to kill every human being on Earth while he and all of the attractive people wait out in space, only to return and build a new life of “perfect” people? Well, that’s pretty much the plot of this one once we meet Mel Gibson’s character…who pretty much wants to do the same…exact…thing. You know that if that preview was accurate in the beginning…at least part of his plan will succeed, because all of the main characters are going to wind up in space, right? So…spoilers?
Now, what made this film too sci-fi for me was the characters. Especially the characters who apparently had borderline superpowers. Mel Gibson’s ability was that he was in a constant form of déjà vu and could see the future. Lady Gaga’s ability was stranger…she could peel off her face and become someone else entirely, usually pretty famous…just to get more celebrities in the film. It became my worst nightmare from the original…having an ensemble cast of great faces that you just can’t keep up with.
The fact of the matter is that Machete Kills still had that tone of not caring; just doing things for fun…but science fiction characters and weapons turned the tone inside out…and made it feel like something completely different; something it should have ever felt like. You can do whatever the heck you want with you movie, which is clearly the goal, but doing so…you might lose the spirit of the original, and in this case, they have. The plot no longer is as solid or has as much heart or soul as the original, and there is too much James Bond. A nuclear missile, a larger than life villain that wants to rule the world, the similarities to Moonraker…come on.
There are parts to Machete Kills that are pretty entertaining anyways, but deep down, you might find yourself begging the franchise to return to its origins.