Machete Kills

Rating: The only drawback to this film is that any viewer who is Catholic is likely to be denied admission into heaven. Just remember to repeatedly chant as you leave the theater, “Forgive me Father, this is Hammerle’s fault!”;

Machete KillsTo begin with, this review will be rather short for professional reasons. More to the point, I begin a projected 3 to 5 day murder trial here in Marion County next Monday (October 21), so this is my last touch with entertainment before descending into the fiery pit known as the criminal justice system.

Additionally, it is ironic that I would review a film called Machete Kills when my murder trial involves allegations of a gangland slaying here in Indianapolis. Torture is involved in both the film and my trial, so I can only state that I am far more comfortable in a movie theater.

With Machete Kills, Director Robert Rodriguez brings us a sequel to the original released in 2010. Again starring Danny Trejo as Machete, the film is as ridiculously pleasurable as the original.

Machete is a withering, aging chap who is almost impossible to kill. Shoot or stab him, and he’s right back on his feet after downing a couple aspirin and a little NyQuil.

While the plot is largely irrelevant, the President of the United States recruits Machete to battle his way in to Mexico and eliminate a scheming scientist who is trying to launch destructive missiles on the world. If it sounds ridiculous, it is, and it is meant to be.

To begin with, Charlie Sheen plays the President, having the incredible name of Rathcock. The President is a right-wing nut job, and he fulfills every expectation flowing from his glorious last name.

The strength of the film centers on the performances of a bevy of supporting actors who overact in every scene with absolutely no shame. To begin with, Demian Bichir stars as Mendez, a guy facing eventual doom for trying to assist Machete. Mr. Bichir is a wonderful actor in serious films, and you really should hunt him down for his magnificent Oscar nominated role in A Better Life (2011).

On top of that, there are unforgettable performances by some beautiful actresses. Amber Heard is known as Miss San Antonio, a knockout blonde who has no trouble having sex with Machete even if she is destined to try to kill him. Sofia Vergara, memorable in TV’s Modern Family, is an unforgettable prostitute known as Desdemona. In particular, this is not a woman who you should try to seduce against her will, as her brassiere is double loaded with machine gun bullets.

Lady Gaga makes a temporary appearance as a villain, and she can make a kitchen waste can look provocative. More importantly, Michelle Rodriguez again dominates the film in her small role as Luz, a lusty, eye-patch wearing ally of Machete who isn’t remotely stopped even when her remaining eye is shot out. There’s just no quit in Luz.

Lastly, Jessica Alba, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Antonio Banderas make small but interesting contributions along the way, and all make this transparently foolish film worth watching. Thanks to their help, the film creates the feel of doing acid at Woodstock in 1969, and it ends up being a bit of fun in a very twisted way.

Lastly, Machete Kills achieves its singular success in reintroducing the disgraced Mel Gibson in a surprisingly enjoyable role as the demented scientist Voz. Like many, I have little use for Mr. Gibson as a person, but Mr. Rodriguez allows him to remind us all that he was once a damn fine actor.