The Movie: 7.5/10
One of the best things about being a movie lover is all the amazing places, times, and characters you get to experience. Another of the best things is that every once in a while a surprise comes along, not the kind of surprise when the bad guy falls off a very tall thing, but the kind where you really really do not want to watch a movie because of the trailer, and then the movie is pretty darn entertaining.
Machete Kills is one of those surprises. I will say that I was not interested in the Machete universe at all. We saw Grindhouse a few years ago and part of that duo of “cheap” flicks was a series of mock trailers, one of which was for Machete. It became a real movie, and even though I like Robert Rodriguez movies I was NOT even curious. My husband, the Ascully, has always been a huge fan and was enthusiastic, so I went along for the ride. I don’t like to admit to that husband when he might possibly maybe be right about things like movies, so don’t tell him, but this time…..fill in the blank.
First, Machete, the first in the series introduced us to our leading man. He’s a grizzled Mexican bad ass. Yes, he’s a bad ass, and I don’t usually use that term, but there really isn’t anything else you can accurately use to describe him. He meets with a horrible bad guy, something horrible happens, and he has to escape Mexico just to stay alive. We meet him when he’s doing day labor in Texas, and crosses paths with two women, one a possible revolutionary, the other an immigration agent. Robert Rodriguez does appreciate some strong women in his stories, that’s for sure.
As Machete gets tangled up with something that spirals out of control quite quickly, we are taken through a lot of fights, more horrible bad guys, and eventually another movie, Machete Kills. This time around he’s still grizzled, still a bad ass, and still mixing with some strong and very compelling women. We meet a madame of a brothel, a spoiled sleazy mother daughter pair, a beauty queen government agent, and a few others. Machete might be grizzled, but he’s a winner with the ladies, for sure.
There is a lot of humor, but I don’t think of it as a comedy as the husband does. The whole Machete tale involves the issue of illegal immigration from Mexico to America. It’s a touchy subject in real life and in these movies Rodriguez mixes the outrageous with gritty reality, which is the main reason I was surprised by it all and pleasantly so. Outrageous like a bad guy going to space to avoid the global chaos that will ensue after his destructive bombs shake things up. The gritty reality of the politics of something as emotional as the use of human’s and their suffering for the gain of the wealthy greedy fuckers of the world.
There is a bra machine gun, and a strap on gun, both masterfully worn and utilized by our powerful vengeful madame. She is one of my favorite characters and Sophia Vergara does it with vigor, anger, and just the right amount of crazy. Another thing that Machete has done for my movie watching self is to give Michelle Rodriguez a chance to win me over. No, I have never really liked her. This time, however, she is just right for the part. She doesn’t do the lame overly masculine bullshit she normally does. She just peeled back to who her character would be, and became the best non-outrageous players in this cinematic diorama.
There are so many kicking ass fights I got a bit worn out by it, but I understand. It’s the spectacle of a Grindhouse type movie. The kicking, the punching, the throwing of household objects to impale mindless thugs and many many henchmen. The amazing ability of a machete to lop off heads at the whisk of a wrist by our leading man, over and over and over. The variety of what your eyes are absorbing is enough to distract even me from the weaker points.
Weaker points? Some crappy special effects (allowed because it’s almost a trademark of this director), some crappy acting, some over the top visuals, and nose wrinkling “Bond villain” moments. That’s about it though, and even the crappy stuff adds to the goodness of it all. I won’t say I’m raving and sloppy in love with Machete or his violent universe, but I will say this……I might possibly maybe maybe have been wrong to assume I was going to hate it.
- Deleted & Extended Scenes – More extended than deleted scenes, it’s quite obvious Rodriguez is in love with Banderas and GaGa from the amount of times they appear here.
- Making Machete Kills – A 15 minute making of that covers most of the film. It’s unfortunate that the 10 minute film school and cooking school features are lacking from recent Rodriguez releases.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
I might not have this cover as a poster, but I appreciate it for what it is. Big, colorful, bold, kind of silly. The menu is what it is…as usual.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Machete does indeed kill in this amazing looking 1080P AVC transfer that despite the grainy grind house nature of the movie looks pristine like a 2013 movie should. Colors are hot and heavy as intended and the whole film is sharp as a brass tack. There are slight areas where Black Crush rears its ugly head but overall this is as good a transfer as you will get.
Universal’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is as bombastic as anything your home theater has experienced. LFE effects are heavy and often with gunfire and sometimes laser fire being thrown into the mix. Surround speakers are always active with some sublime panning effects in the final act. Dialog is centered and never intelligible. Basically Machete Kills will assault your senses and leave you cheering.
Overall Score 7.5/10