The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about “Machete Kills” in about the time it takes to watch the trailer.
If you set out to make a bad movie, does that excuse you when you succeed?
“Machete Kills” is the second film based on a fake trailer from Quentin Tarantino’s “Grindhouse”. That’s right, this movie is a sequel… to a take off… of a joke. And it feels like it. The movie follows our “hero?” as he and his blade slice through anything and anyone who might get in the way of him doing what he needs to do. Which in this case I think has something to do with stopping a fake Mexican American war. I’m not actually sure. Now I should mention, the movie itself never claims to be a legitimate film. In fact, the whole idea is for it to be as if it were a shlocky gratuitously violent cash grab from the 70s. You know, a take off on movies that stink, which is likely why you movie also stinks.
If I had to pick a best thing about this mess it would probably be that on occasions it actually does nail the “so bad it’s good” vibe to the point where I found it somewhat humorous. Some of the lines are so perfectly corny that I couldn’t help but stand and applaud if for no other reason than the sheer audaciousness. But the truth is those moments are very few and far between… and the people behind me yelled at me to sit down.
In fact, most of the movie I just stared dumbfounded that this even got made. I get that this is fun for Robert Rodriguez and his actors to play around with, but shouldn’t it eventually be fun for the audience too? I think the overall reason it doesn’t work is that unintentional comedy only works when it is truly unintentional. It’s one thing to laugh at an old B movie because you can’t believe they actually thought it was good, and completely another to realize the actors and director are all in on the joke. If that’s the case, it really should more be considered a parody except that the movie doesn’t have the joke a minute pace it takes to deliver on parody. And that’s the worst thing at the end of the day it’s just a bad movie. The B movie stuff destroys any chance at true dramatic tension, and the humor is too spaced out to really keep you interested. All you’re left with to keep you entertained is some spurting neck wounds and a Lady Gaga cameo, and that’s just not enough for me.
Overall “Machete Kills” is an awful film that despite occasionally being clever enough to draw a smile, spends most of it time desperately trying to hit a note that’s already been played one too many times. Lets just go with a D.
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