Trailer Review: Machete Kills (2013)

Danny Trejo returns as the hard nut anti-hero called Machete in this Grindhouse sequel

Machete Kills is a sequel to the funny and irreverent Machete directed by Grindhouse fan Robert Rodriguez and released in 2010. The tough guy actor Danny Trejo who first found fame in films like Desperado and From Dusk till Dawn was the perfect casting choice for Machete and he returns to play the role again in this sequel. Trejo looks like he could kill people just by glaring at them and he has had a successful career playing hard nuts. He is a likeable actor with an interesting personality too and he is not afraid to send up his tough guy image.

In Machete Kills, the rugged tough guy is saved from a death by hanging and recruited for a serious mission by President Carlos Estevez aka Charlie Sheen. Casting Sheen in a role like that is genius and he will blend right in as the movie looks fun and ridiculous. Machete is given the task of wiping out a criminal arms dealer looking to launch a weapon into space. To do this he will have to fight his way through Mexico to reach the bad guy. He teams up with his sidekick from the first movie Shé who is played by Michelle Rodriguez and embarks on the dangerous mission. Such a simple plot is ideal as it means Machete can focus on doing silly stunts and scowling at his enemies. Machete has no time for trivial pursuits, he is all business.

The bad guy billionaire arms dealer is played by Mel Gibson which is another inspired casting choice. It is rare to see Gibson play a bad guy but he can excel in the role and he will no doubt have fun with it. The director always assembles an interesting cast for his crazy action films and Machete Kills is no exception.  The supporting cast includes some well known actors and a few surprises including Jessica Alba, Lady Gaga, Amber Heard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Edward James Olmos, Antonio Banderas, Zoe Saldana and William Saddler who plays the guy trying to hang Machete at the start of the trailer. Lady Gaga is not know for her acting prowess so it is unclear if she will deliver a good performance or just spend the movie prancing around and posing with a weapon. Her style and persona are a good fit for a movie like this though and she will not look out of place like some performers do in movies. Apparently Lindsey Lohan will not be reprising her role from the first film which is a shame as she delivered a decent performance. The troubled actress could use a good role or two to help get her back on top.

The director enjoys creating outrageous weapons for his characters in films like this which adds to the humour. Machete is seen wielding a weapon with three long blades attached to it in the trailer while another character wears a corset that fires bullets. This attention to details regarding the weapons was a popular trope in martial arts movies made in the seventies and eighties. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino have always borrowed elements from the old genre movies they enjoy watching and that is part of their style.

The trailer is brief as it lays out the basic plot without revealing many details. It mainly focuses on introducing the characters and setting the tone for the film. It succeeds at what it is trying to accomplish and the cast alone will give people a reason to see this when it is released. The on-screen titles are nicely done and there is also a grainy filter used to give the film an old-school look. The cheesy American voice over that was used in the trailer for the first movie also returns which is great. It will entertain people who grew up watching the ridiculous action movie trailers released in the eighties. The voice overs used to narrate those trailers always sounded like they were done by just one guy.  The narrator would also always spout silly dialogue about how tough the hero of the film was.

Machete Kills has a bigger plot than the first film and a bigger threat. This is good as it may mean the action will be even more ostentatious and epic which is how it should be. Machete was a fun film but it wasn’t as crazy as it looked in the trailer.  Hopefully Machete Kills can be the opposite where the trailer doesn’t reveal too much but the film is pure madness on-screen.

The film is looking good but it is difficult to judge Machete Kills based on the limited action presented in the current trailer.  However the director is a master of the genre and there is good reason to be optimistic about the film.

Machete Kills will be released on September 13th. Have a look at the trailer and share your thoughts.

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