Viewed – 06 August 2014 Netflix
I’m a little concerned. Robert Rodriguez, that indie wonder kid, best buds with Quentin Tarantino and director of such classics as Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn and Sin City, has been making more of a name for himself lately as the poster boy for the grindhouse genre. Tarantino was wise to just dip his toe in it before delivering the double whammy of Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. Yet the imminent arrival of the hotly anticipated Sin City: A Dame To Kill For has been slightly wilted by Rodriguez’s z-grade obsession … which going by the reviews, got old very quickly.
This follow-up to the movie inspired by a trailer in the middle of that Grindhouse double feature calamity, finds hulking Mexican for hire Danny Trejo as bounty hunter and former marshal ‘Machete’ who gets hired by the President of the United States (Charlie Sheen … er, yes) to bring down a crime lord who is threatening to send a missile to nuke Washington. Yeah it’s stupid and it’s the sort of plot you’d find in an 80’s TV show or some movie in a flea pit of a cinema that had run out of porn … but it’s a concept, played fully tongue-in-cheek that makes for highly entertaining tosh.
Rodriguez clearly loves the material and although it lacks some of the sucker-punch moments of the previous one it still had enough comical ideas (the speeder from Star Wars, ‘Machete don’t tweet’…) that bored is not something I could be. Co-starring a cast you almost have to read twice to believe, yes Sheen as well as Cuba Gooding Jnr, Michelle Rodriguez, Lady GaGa (!) and even Mel Gibson – this could have been a riot. Yet due to that intentional grindhouse style, its all done badly; the acting is only passable (although Gibson is great) and the effects, stunts and even the gore are amateurish (with a surprising lack of nudity). Yeah I get it, it’s all part of the joke … but does detract from some of the movie’s bigger moments.
One to watch with beer, friends and your brain on auto-pilot. Is it wrong I actually want to see ‘Machete Kills again – in space’ ??
Verdict: 3 /5