Machete Kills review (Blu-ray)

Do you know what you are? You are vengeance. And vengeance never dies.

Machete Kills is the sequel to Machete, the film based on the spoof trailer that was a part of Rodriguez' and Quentin Tarantino’s ill-fated Grindhouse collaboration.

Rodriguez’s latest homage to 70s grindhouse is Machete Kills, which sees Trejo return as Mexican ex-Federale turned vigilante Machete. Recruited for a special mission by pot-smoking US President Rathcock (Estevez, aka Charlie Sheen) and aided by the beautiful Miss San Antonio (Heard), Machete must find and kill the psychotic revolutionary Mendez (Bichir) who’s plannig to launch a deadly missile attack on Washington DC. But Machete soon comes to suspect that the real bad guy is billionaire arms dealer and precognitive Voz (Gibson) who’s bent on a Bond Villain-esque plan for world domination.

As with the first Machete, Machete Kills is incredibly cheesy and over-the-top, but also a load of laughs. Everyone involved (and the stunt casting is sublime) is having the time of their life with the crazy script and absurd violence and Machete dispenses bad guy after bad guy with his bloody big knife. Yes, even Crocodile Dundee would be quaking in his stylish yet affordable boots. There is so, so much to enjoy and laugh at here, but perhaps the best joke of all is the master of disguise hitman El Chameleon, a joke so good any explanation serves as spoiler.

This is gleeful, cheesy B-movie homage at its best. The dialogue is often hackneyed, and eht action iss suitbly over the top, with explosions aplenty and loads of flying severed heads and geysers of gushing blood. Let's hope that this is not the last time we get to see Trejo's gruff, badass hero who speaks about himself in the third person ("Machete don't tweet"). The film actually opens with a mock trailer for the next sequel - Machete Kills Again… in Space. Fingers crossed that Rodriguez et al get the chance to make it.

EXTRAS ★★★ Just two short featurettes: If Carlos Estevez Were President (0:27), and Six Degrees of Robert Rodriguez (2:30); plus short interviews with director Rodriguez and cast members Trejo, Estevez, Gibson, Heard, Antonio Banderas, Vergara, Michelle Rodriguez, Bichir, Cuba Gooding Jr, Goggins, Sadler, Aaron Kaufman and Alexa Vega (38:40). Missing are the extras from the US release: the 20-minute featurette Making Machete Kills, plus a selction of deleted and extended scenes.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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