Now Playing: ‘Machete’ Slays Me

“Machete don’t tweet” is just one of the hilarious lines uttered by Danny Trejo’s iconic character, Machete Cortez, in this new fun-as-hell sequel from Robert Rodriguez. If you pay attention, you might notice that Rodriguez has actually made a ‘Star Wars’ film with Machete in it this time around, complete with machete lightsabers, versions of carbonite and landspeeders, and characters similar to those in the ‘Star Wars’ universe. With an all-star cast and even more blood, guts and kills than the first one, this over-the-top sequel is highly entertaining.

In this epic adventure, the President of the United States (Charlie Sheen, billed as “Carlos Estevez”) calls up Machete to kill a Mexican drug lord named Mendez (Demian Bichir). Mendez suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder, and switches back and forth from being an evil drug kingpin, to a heroic revolutionary, to a secret agent. You never know what you’ll get with him, but Bichir plays the character with gusto and hilarity. Mendez has implanted a device that remotely connects him to a nuclear warhead. If his heart stops, the missile will launch and hit Washington, DC. Machete accepts this mission when the President grants him U.S. citizenship and assigns him a handler in the form of a beauty pageant queen (Amber Heard) who has every weapon imaginable hiding beneath her gowns.

As soon as Machete starts the mission, bad guys come out of the woodwork to kill him, including a top assassin known as the Chameleon, who changes disguises frequently and can look like Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Antonio Banderas or… Lady Gaga. After some guts are spilled and a few heads chopped off, Machete figures out that a multi-billionaire weapons mogul named Voz (Mel Gibson) is behind the entire scheme, and has big plans to destroy Earth and set up a new life in space.

Does any of this make sense? No, but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun to watch. From Sofia Vergara’s man-hating dominatrix who uses her boobs as weapons, to Machete swinging an enemy’s intestines into the blades of a helicopter, you’re in for something special with this sequel. Trejo has an impressive presence and owns the screen every time he’s on camera, even if his monotone dialogue never has any emotion. The supporting cast around him rounds out this zany but brilliant action adventure. Yes, Michelle Rodriguez and her one eye show up again, and spill a lot of blood.

This schlocky grindhouse material is what Rodriquez is great at. I can’t wait to see the next chapter, teased in this one with a trailer called ‘Machete Kills Again… In Space’.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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