It goes without saying that Machete Kills is narratively bad. Check that. It’s awful. Women are nothing more than sexy objects, men are nothing more than walking bottles of killing, and the story is needlessly meandering and terribly overdone.
Of course, that’s the point. Director Robert Rodriguez is not trying to make a quality film. He’s trying to make a homage, a spoof, a comedy that is so over-the-top we can’t help but laugh at it. He succeeds at times, but the movie loses energy and appeal the longer it gets.
Probably because Machete Kills is no longer novel, stylistically or conceptually. We have seen this movie before, when Rodriquez and Tarrantino released Grindhouse (2007) and again when Rodriguez gave us the original Machete (2010). We have even seen this character (Danny Trejo’s Machete) before. Machete Kills doesn’t add anything; it just gives us similar jokes, effects, plot contrivances, and fanboy one liners, which means it grows more tired with each passing minute.
That is not to say that Machete Kills doesn’t accomplish its prime objectives. It wants to be bad, and it is. Very. It wants to be funny and at times is. It wants to be violent and gory, and it is.
It is just to say that there is little reason to see this movie, unless you are a devoted fan of Trejo’s, Rodriguez’ or old exploitation movies in general.
Machete Kills is made well, stylistically speaking. The actors do more or less what they’re supposed to do, and the only obvious mistake is the unnecessary Chameleon subplot, the only purpose of which seems to be squeezing as many recognizable faces into the cast as possible.
Because Rodriguez has already made this film, I cannot recommend it, at least not for most viewers.