2013, Movies

Machete Kills (2013, Robert Rodriguez)

The first Machete was an attempt to combine a satire of America’s immigration system with a parody / celebration of “grindhouse” style action films of the ’70s and ’80s. I liked it a lot more than most people, but I don’t appear to have written a review.

I gave it a 7 which, in retrospect, feels generous. And so I’m torn, because I feel like I enjoyed this sequel more than the original, though I feel like I can’t rate it as high as a 7, for reasons which I will try to detail below.

The sequel feels to me like a more successful film in many ways; I don’t remember laughing as much at the original as I did during this film. And the reason that this film is funnier is because it’s a lot less concerned with the satire of American immigration policy – though that is still a prominent theme – and a lot more with parodying not only bad action films, but James Bond. And, for me, it’s the Bond parody that really makes me laugh. And that’s why I think I like the sequel more, even though I can’t remember why I was so favourable for the original.

But much of it doesn’t work – especially anything involving Heard vs. Rodriguez, which feels less like a parody and more like a lonely boy writing scripts in his basement. And honestly that’s the thing that makes me only give it a 6, there’s too much clunky stuff that’s supposed to be funny, but feels forced, awkward and, often, sexist despite its ostensible role as parodying a sexist genre.

But I do look forward Machete Kills Again…in Space.


  • Directed by Robert Rodriguez
  • Produced by Robert Rodriguez, Rick Schwartz, Sergei Bespalov, Alexander Rodnyansky, Aaron Kaufman, Iliana Nikolic
  • Screenplay by Kyle Ward
  • Story by Robert Rodriguez, Marcel Rodriguez
  • Starring
    • Danny Trejo as Machete Cortez
    • Michelle Rodriguez as Luz / Shé
    • Mel Gibson as Luther Voz
    • Sofía Vergara as Madame Desdemona
    • Amber Heard as Blanca Vasquez / Miss San Antonio
    • Demián Bichir as Marcos Mendez
    • Carlos Estévez as President Rathcock
    • Walton Goggins as El Chameleón 1
    • Cuba Gooding Jr. as El Chameleón 2
    • Lady Gaga as La Chameleón
    • Antonio Banderas as El Chameleón 4
    • Jessica Alba as Sartana Rivera (uncredited)
    • Vanessa Hudgens as Cereza Desdemona
    • Alexa Vega as KillJoy
    • Marko Zaror as Zaror
    • Tom Savini as Osiris Amanpour
    • William Sadler as Sheriff Doakes
    • Julio Oscar Mechoso as Chepo
    • Billy Blair as Billy Blair
    • Samuel Davis as Clebourne
    • Vincent Fuentes as Cabrito Cook
    • Elle Lamont as Dollface
    • Felix Sabates as Doc Felix
    • Electra and Elise Avellan as Nurse Mona and Nurse Lisa
    • Jessica Moreno as Lady D Girl
    • Vicky Solis as Lady D Girl
    • Marci Madison as Nurse Fine
    • Elon Musk as Himself
  • Music by Carl Thiel
  • Cinematography by Robert Rodriguez
  • Edited by Robert Rodriguez, Rebecca Rodriguez
  • Production companies: Quick Draw Productions, Troublemaker Studios
  • Distributed by Open Road Films
  • Release date: September 19, 2013
  • Running time: 108 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Languages: English, Spanish
  • Budget: $20 million
  • Box office: $15 million

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