Star-Studded Film Kills the Enthusiasm
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 20:10
Plenty of movies have little artistic value beyond short-lived comedy or action-packed entertainment and that’s the genre Machete Kills is attempting to encapsulate. There’s nothing wrong with that — there’s plenty of merit to movies that offer pure escapism, even if they’re only worth one watch.Machete Kills falls short of that goal, however, only having a few moments of humor and ending up with excessive, irrelevant violence.
If you go into Machete Kills expecting constant and gruesome violence and a plot with more holes than Swiss cheese, the movie will be moderately bearable, though still not worth the ticket price and the two hours spent at the theater. At best, it is a moderately entertaining, over-the-top satire of old action movies, brimming with blood, sex and violence.
Despite its star-studded cast — including Lady Gaga in her first movie role — the film only gives us brief periods of enjoyment before reverting to gratuitous violence and overused lines. The story arc is decent enough, and realistically, due to the nature of the movie, plot holes aren’t your biggest concern since it’s doubtful that’s what drew you to watch it in the first place. The plot is no better or worse than the annual pre-award season films Hollywood produces, but it was too hard to empathize with any of the characters and too dull and contrived to be able to get fully engaged in the movie.
The protagonist Machete (Danny Trejo) is presented as a truly one-dimensional character. At times, the director attempts to drops hints of Machete’s personal life — how he lost a loved one, what constitutes his values and morals — but the movie never develops him into a real, dynamic individual.
Lady Gaga, as La Chameleón, provides the most entertainment value as she crosses the desert as a disguised hitman (or hitwoman?) trying to assassinate Machete. Still, it doesn’t speak highly to her abilities as an actress since this was her breakout film role.
Charlie Sheen, who for the first time goes by his birth name of Carlos Estevez, serves as an entertaining American president in what little screen time he gets.
Mel Gibson, who plays Voz, and Cuba Gooding, Jr., who stars as El Cameleón 2 also feature in this movie, but any star power and talent is greatly outshone by the plethoric violence. Less than a minute into the movie, we’re treated to a bloody battle between Machete and a mysterious group of masked villains. This action goes on continuously for the next two hours, and you’ll be lucky if the blood and gore don’t replay in your dreams the next night. At every opportunity, the writers show us another gory way to die, and it’s clear that they paid the makeup artists well.
If you do choose to go see Machete Kills, definitely don’t go with your family. Also, good luck convincing your friends to go. Or, better yet, just don’t go at all.