Director: Robert Rodriguez
Screenplay: Kyle Ward (from a story by Robert Rodriguez)
Starring: Danny Trejo, Mel Gibson, Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, Michelle Rodriguez
Running Time: 102 Mins
Reviewed by Guy Adams
When the punchline of your shaggy dog story is Mel Gibson you just know you’re in trouble.
Ex-federale, Machete (Trejo) is hired by the US President (Charlie Sheen appearing under his birth name, Carlos Estevez) to do something involving revolutionaries with nuclear bombs. Lots of people get chopped to pieces, women’s breasts quiver while they fire automatic weapons, Lady Gaga smokes a pink Sobranie and Mel Gibson appears as Southern Fried version of MOONRAKER’s Hugo Drax.
The first MACHETE film was passable fun. It was little more than an extended joke based on a faux trailer from Rodriguez and Tarantino’s GRINDHOUSE project (like giving the barman that quips at his ‘long-faced’ equine client his very own TV series). Despite this, it managed to keep your attention. It was mostly amusing for it’s 100 minute running time. If only the same could be said for the sequel.
Whereas MACHETE maintained a thin streak of sour brutality, a grimy quality that kept everything from feeling completely disposable, the sequel is pure pantomime. Pantomime gore is just meaningless splatter. The Chuckle Brothers with guns.
As a pastiche it’s terribly accurate, the follow-up that tries too hard and throws even more at the screen in the hope that excess will equal excitement. Unfortunately it just equals tediousness. If you’re going to offer nothing to engage us with except broad comedy you need to be consistently funny. Which is hard when you only have one joke to offer.
Hmm… it occurs to me that this review is short and brutal. I wish the movie had been.