Not having seen the first Machete (2010) and only knowing the character from a preview attached to Grindhouse (2007), my hopes were that Machete Kills would be as epic as I had heard the first film was. Or is. When I approached the multiplex on opening day, I was surprised to find a group of 8-to-12 year old children running riot out front. In exchange for a cinnamon Altoid, one of them told me what was going on. They were all members of the Junior Machete Club, JMC for short. All wore black leather studded Machete Jr. vests, and brandished foam rubber machetes. They were big fans of Machete, having seen the DVD hundreds of times at home. Only when they reached the theater complex did they find out the R rating didn’t mean Really Rad and they actually wouldn’t be allowed into the movie. I asked about their parents, surprised that they were allowed to watch the DVD and that an adult didn’t accompany them to the picture. Seems all their parents were incarcerated for various “alleged” acts of extreme violence for which they were caught red-handed. The only reason they were in jail was because of incompetent legal representation and bias in the justice system. Their elderly grandparents, with whom they were all living with, declined to see the film.
The movie itself, unseen by the club members, is a hoot. Director Robert Rodriguez has directed a slapstick style violent film of epic proportions. The movie plays out as a broad farce of the James Bond films. While not quite as smooth as JB, Machete has his own style of scowling and killing. The movie is a lot like the Austin Powers series, except with lots of decapitations and bloodletting. The cast includes Danny Trejo as the Mexican Superman. DT is no Brad Pitt pretty boy. He actually looks like a bit of bad, rutted road, and has numerous reasons to look this way. His checkered past (Google or Wikipedia him), and the fact he will turn 70 next year, are just a few contributors. He has really turned his life around and deserves a complementary Lifestyle Lift.
Mel Gibson plays the evil bad guy. The assassin El/La Chameleon is acted out at various times by Walton Goggins, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Lady Gaga. Amber Heard plays Miss San Antonio while Sofia Vergara (TV mom on Modern Family) is Desdemona. The President of the USA is brilliantly portrayed by Charlie Sheen. He almost seems like two-and-a-half presidents.
I enjoyed this film a lot. But, I have a big, big warning. Violence is present in virtually every scene. If you don’t heed this warning you have no one but yourself to blame.
This is also the first film, as far as I know, in history in which its own sequel is previewed before the main movie begins.
The kids were still out front when I left. I gave them a big thumbs up and one of them tried to cut it off with his foam rubber machete.
Rated 2.9 out of 4.0 reasons to stay in school. Mamas don’t let your kids grow up to be Junior Machete Club Members. Cowboys would be better.