Valdosta Daily Times


October 19, 2013

Saluting ‘Captain Phillips’



Grade: B+ (Phillips’ ordeal makes a great screenplay.)
“Machete Kills” (Action/Science-Fiction: 1 hour, 47 minutes)
Starring: Danny Trejo, Amber Heard, Michelle Rodriguez and Mel Gibson
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Rated: R (Profanity, extreme violence and sexual content)
Movie Review: A machete is a very large knife. Too bad someone did not use one to cut away this film’s trivial parts. Of course, the removal of those bad scenes would leave only approximately 25 minutes of good material.
Danny Trejo is the legendary ex-Federale agent Machete Cortez. The President of the United States (Charlie Sheen as Carlos Estevez) recruits him for a mission to stop a wealthy American industrialist, Voz (Gibson), who has plans of world domination. The task will not be easy. Several malevolent forces pursue Cortez. All want him dead.
Unlike its prequel, “Machete” (Directors Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez, 2010), “Machete Kills” is a wacky style that lacks originality and comical flair. It is just gratuitous violence in a silly plot.
A very large and well-known cast comprises this wayward comical action film. The problem is the characters are goofily unbelievable to the point the plot becomes an asinine one not worthy of one’s time. “Machete Kills” is a B-movie. It has the nature of a low-budget film. It is a bad film, and it appears to have been made that way purposely. Its style is similar to a spaghetti western mixed with a science-fiction flick.
Few of these characters are appealing, while others are over the top. This array of eccentric characters is played by very well-known talents, such as Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr. and William Sadler. A multitude of celebrities is fun to observe. However, these cameos do not make this film any better.
To make matters worse, “Machete Kills” has an open ending. Based on previews for the next Machete film, the third installment appears as goofy as this one. 
Grade: D (If you are in its audience, it kills.)

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