MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5)
Danny Trejo as MACHETE
Mel Gibson as VOZ
Demian Bichir as MENDEZ
Amber Heard as MISS SAN ANTONIO
Michelle Rodriguez as LUZ
Sofia Vergara as DESDEMONA
Carlos Estevez as MR. PRESIDENT
Studio: Open Road
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
BY KEVIN CARR
Oh, how Robert Rodriguez has fallen. Where he was once a fantastic guerilla filmmaker, he has become a caricature of his former self. The downfall can be tracked with the saga of “Machete,” starting in 2007 when he made the “Planet Terror” half of “Grindhouse.”
The original “Machete” trailer was fantastic, perfectly capturing the low budget and exploitation nature of the grindhouse. However, by the time Rodriguez managed to make the feature film, he had softened as a filmmaker. This resulted in a lukewarm first film, which had enough juice to warrant a sequel.
That ended up being “Machete Kills,” and it has killed the franchise. Unless a miracle happens, don’t expect to see “Machete Kills Again… in Space” anytime soon.
For a full rant and explanation for my disappointment with “Machete Kills,” check out my theatrical review along with the plot synopsis and radio elements here. In the end, “Machete Kills” never delivered on the true grindhouse nature. It was too tongue-in-cheek and not very authentic. Rodriguez could not resist his gadgetry filmmaking, which includes crystal-clear video images and lots of bluescreen.
Rodriguez could have used some pointers from Will Ferrell and Matt Piedmont from their far superior (but still lackluster) Mexican exploitation send-up “Casa de mi Padre.”
Ultimately, Rodriguez lost sight of his own spoof, delivering a bad movie instead of a send-up and deconstruction of a bad movie. This film has more in line with a modern-era Troma movie – complete with cameos, unnecessary and silly sci-fi elements and a plot that works too hard to be both coherent and irreverent (and failing at both) – than it does with the true spirit of what the original “Machete” trailer promised.
Sigh… maybe we’ll see some of that old-school Robert Rodriguez when “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” comes out later this year.
One of the most depressing things about this Blu-ray is how stripped down it is, particularly for a Robert Rodriguez movie. I remember years ago that, even for his terrible movies, Rodriguez included plenty of bonus materials in his DVDs. However, this release has none of that. There’s no “10 Minute Film School.” There’s no short films. There’s no extra features to show Rodriguez’s maverick filmmaking style that can inspire young filmmakers to take charge of their own careers.
Maybe Rodriguez is just getting old. Take a look at final credits to his movies now, and you’ll see a lot of love for Austin, but you’ll also see hundreds of man-hours represented. Maybe the illusion that Robert Rodriguez can do it all himself is gone, turning him into the figurehead and aloof director like George Lucas with the prequels.
Sadly, the only features included on the Blu-ray are deleted and extended scenes, along with a short “Making of Machete Kills.”