Entertainment Movies
Entertainment Entertainment Movies

'Machete Kills' review: Entertaining carnage?

*** (out of four)

I don’t get much enjoyment seeing sharp blades slice through a person’s skin. In “Machete Kills,” when Machete (Danny Trejo) cuts up an enemy’s abdomen, yanks the poor guy’s intestines and tosses them into a helicopter blade, I’m wincing, and not in a fun way. Maybe you disagree.

That said, director Robert Rodriguez’s violent sequel to the little-seen 2010 exploitation flick “Machete” doesn’t resign itself only to grisly dismembments. (Though there are plenty.) This unexpectedly entertaining B-movie throws a ton of fun-seeking ideas at the wall in hopes that we’ll enjoy the splatter.

Let’s name a few details without spoiling anything. Dangerous former cartel member Marcos Mendez (Oscar nominee Demian Bichir of “A Better Life,” having a blast) randomly flip-flops from revolutionary to madman. A killer known as the Chameleon changes faces on a regular basis, and the transitions (FYI: Lady Gaga is one of them) are wonderfully implausible. A team of killer prostitutes (including Sofia Vergara and Alexa Vega) hunts for Machete. And the U.S. president (Charlie Sheen, er, Carlos Estevez) connects Machete with an undercover operative (Amber Heard) who spends most of her time competing in pageants.

The plot involves Machete adapting after finding that the missile that Acapulco-based Mendez has aimed at Washington, D.C., will launch if the criminal’s heart stops, which is a pretty ingenious defense mechanism for a lunatic. As with the deadly hero’s previous feature, Machete’s out for revenge, but comes into focus with added personality this time. He shrugs off electrocution and can’t be hanged, but also earns widespread admiration through his technique and reliability.

Funny and recommended for very specific tastes, the film only sometimes fetishizes weapons, though there’s no denying Rodriguez caters to an audience who wants its explosions loud and its ass-kicking onscreen women scantily clad. If you think cleavage makes a great side dish to blood, you’re in the right place.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

 

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.

 

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Chicago's ban on plastic bags starts to take effect at many big stores Saturday, but an alderman who helped craft the law already is talking about changing it in order to thwart a few large retail chains that he says are trying to skirt the new rules.

  • State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    A man was shot multiple times while traveling in a minivan on the inbound Eisenhower Expressway on Friday morning, authorities said.

  • Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?

    Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?

    It may sound like an urban legend: Music festival-goers bury bottles of booze in Chicago parks, plot a GPS location for the goods and uncover them days later when the festival comes alive.

  • Chicago plans to cut O'Hare noise by rotating runways at night

    Chicago plans to cut O'Hare noise by rotating runways at night

    The Emanuel administration on Friday will propose an experiment at O'Hare International Airport to rotate the runways used late at night, possibly on a weekly basis, to spread out jet noise, the city's aviation chief told the Chicago Tribune.

  • Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach

    Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach

    Along Chicago's lakefront at Fullerton Avenue Beach, cranes rolled along a causeway that only a few months ago was part of the lake itself. Every day this summer, roughly 40 construction workers are filling in Lake Michigan with dredged material and gravel, which will eventually add up to 5.8 acres...

  • Doughnut panic

    Doughnut panic

    I'm not ashamed to admit that for the past several years, I have mapped my walk to work around which doughnut shop I'd like an excuse to stop at on the way. There's nothing like the thought of a crunchy, craggy old fashioned doughnut or the sweet, yeasty chew of a classic glazed doughnut to help...

Comments
Loading
71°