Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Rodriguez|
|Screenplay by||Kyle Ward|
|Music by||Carl Thiel|
|Distributed by||Open Road Films|
|Running time||108 minutes|
Machete Kills is a 2013 American action-comedy film written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. It is the third film based on Grindhouse fake trailers. Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Tom Savini, Billy Blair, Electra and Elise Avellan, Felix Sabates and Jessica Alba reprise their roles from the first film, as well as being joined by series newcomers Mel Gibson, Demián Bichir, Amber Heard, Sofía Vergara, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Hudgens, Alexa Vega, William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Charlie Sheen (credited by his real name of "Carlos Estévez"). The film follows the titular ex-federale (Trejo) as he is recruited by the U.S. President (Sheen) to stop an arms dealer (Gibson) and a revolutionary (Bichir). The film was released on October 11, 2013, to mixed reviews from critics and failure to recoup its budget of $20 million.
The film is preceded by a fake trailer for Machete Kills Again ...In Space, which features the titular hero on an intergalactic mission, starring Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Alexa Vega, Lady Gaga as "Whoever She Wants To Be", Justin Bieber as a robot named Bleep (which Machete destroys) and Leonardo DiCaprio as "The Man in the Silver Mask" (with the sub-note that the actor playing the role is subject to change).
The actual film starts off with Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) and Sartana Rivera (Jessica Alba) attempting to capture weapon dealers (crooked US military men) who have been supplying the Mexican drug cartels. The military men are then all killed by the gangsters, who in turn are wiped out by a yet another intervening party. Its leader, wearing a mask, murders Sartana with what appears to be a blaster and leaves Machete devastated. Machete is then arrested by a corrupt Sheriff Doakes (William Sadler) and Deputy Clebourne (Samuel Davis). Doakes tries to unsuccessfully hang Machete but is forced to release him on orders of the President of the US Rathcock (Charlie Sheen). Machete is then brought to the White House, where the president offers him United States citizenship if he eliminates Marcos Mendez (Demián Bichir), a psychopath who is threatening to fire a nuclear missile at Washington, D.C. if the American government does not intervene to stop the rampant drug cartels in Mexico and the corruption of its government.
Machete agrees and travels to San Antonio, where he meets his handler, Blanca Vasquez (Amber Heard), an undercover beauty pageant competitor also known as "Miss San Antonio", who seduces Machete before sending him to Acapulco to meet a young woman, Cereza (Vanessa Hudgens), who can lead him to Mendez. Machete finds her in a brothel run by her mother, Madame Desdemona (Sofía Vergara), who attempts to kill Machete before he escapes with Cereza. She takes him to Mendez's associate, Zaror (Marko Zaror), who kills Cereza before taking Machete to Mendez's base of operations.
There, Machete learns that Mendez has wired the missile's launch device to his heart and triggered its launch in 24 hours. Machete escapes, kills Zaror and his men and captures Mendez, whom he intends to escort to the United States to find the only man who can disarm the missile, its creator. While rushing to reach the US-Mexico border, Machete learns that Mendez is an ex-secret agent who tried to expose his corrupt superiors, only to be betrayed and forced to watch his family being tortured. The trauma drove him insane by creating his split personalities, as well as led him to join forces with the missile's creator.
Shortly thereafter, a hit is put on their heads. Machete is targeted by Madame Desdemona and her prostitute assassins, a shapeshifting hitman, El Camaleón, as well as Sheriff Doakes. Machete and Mendez manage to reach the US and kill Sheriff Doakes and Deputy Clebourne only to be caught by a seemingly reborn Zaror and the same mercenaries who killed Sartana. Zaror decapitates Mendez and Machete is riddled with bullets by the gunmen.
Machete wakes up to find himself in a healing tank and that he has been taken to meet Zaror's benefactor, corrupt businessman, inventor and Star Wars fan Luther Voz (Mel Gibson). Voz shows Machete Mendez's beating heart, preserved in a jar, as well as informs him of his plan to manipulate extremists throughout the world to detonate nuclear weapons while he and whoever chooses to join him escapes in a spaceship to rebuild society in space. Voz appears to have visions of the future that drive his goals and also reveals that Zaror is one of the many genetically-engineered supersoldier clones he has created to assist him, but that he now instead wishes to take Machete's DNA to make clones of him as much more powerful weapons. Machete then escapes with help from Luz (Michelle Rodriguez), who had heard about the hit on Machete. She informs him that the only one who can disarm Mendez's heart is Machete's old enemy, Osiris Amanpour (Tom Savini). Machete contacts Miss San Antonio, who instructs him to meet her at a rendezvous point.
Arriving there, Machete is betrayed and ambushed by Miss San Antonio (now Miss Texas), who is in league with Voz. As she is escaping into the desert, Machete gives chase and jumps onto the top of her vehicle but falls off after gunfire comes through the roof. Machete is then given a ride, unaware he's been picked up by El Camaleón, who then tries to kill him one last time. Machete escapes and El Camaleón ends up being shot to death by a group of racist rednecks just inside the U.S. border. Machete then reunites with Luz and her group, the Network. They infiltrate a fundraiser at Voz's base of operations. In the ensuing firefight, Osiris is killed by Voz before being able to disarm Mendez's heart. Machete realizes Voz was the one who killed Sartana and then fights him. Voz admits that since Machete got involved, his future visions have become less accurate and clouded. Machete severely burns Voz's face, disfiguring him to the extent that Voz is forced to wear a metallic, silver mask. Meanwhile, Miss San Antonio shoots Luz in her good eye, completely blinding her. Somehow, Luz locates Miss San Antonio, fights with her and ends up throwing Miss San Antonio's own tiara at her, piercing her chest and then shooting her. Luz is then confronted by Voz, frozen in Carbonite and taken aboard his ship.
Machete jumps on the missile as it launches and disarms it in mid-air, while Voz boards the ship and departs with the Zaror clones, his supporters, as well as Luz. The disarmed missile then plunges into the Rio Grande and Machete is rescued by President Rathcock, who asks him to follow Voz into space and kill him. Machete readily agrees and uses a SpaceX rocket (after getting a good-luck wish from Elon Musk) to depart to Voz's Station in Earth's orbit, where he is given a laser machete to start his mission.
In a post-credits scene, an outtake from the Luz and Blanca fight scene is included followed by a shot of President Rathcock in front of a space background inquisitively brandishing two of Voz's guns (the molecular disruptor and the same pistol used to kill Sartana) before firing wildly at an off-screen target.
- 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
- Charlie Sheen (credited by his real name of "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
- 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
The film was produced by Robert Rodriguez, as well as Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic through their QuickDraw Productions, Sergei Bespalov of Aldamisa Films, Alexander Rodnyansky of AR Films and Rick Schwartz of Overnight Productions.
The film has Charlie Sheen credited under his birth name Carlos Estévez. Expected to be a one-time move, it was Sheen's idea to use his birth name for the film, due to the film's Hispanic theme. The trailer for the film uses an "and introducing..." tag when showing Sheen's birth name.
Machete Kills received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that gave the film a rating of 29%, based on 112 reviews, with the critical consensus "While possessed with the same schlocky lunacy as its far superior predecessor, Machete Kills loses the first installment's spark in a less deftly assembled sequel." At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating based on reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received a score of 41 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indictating "mixed or average reviews".
At the end of the first film's theatrical release, two sequels are mentioned, Machete Kills and Machete Kills Again. The trailer for the third and final film, Machete Kills Again... In Space, precedes the second film as a "Coming Attraction". However, the film's critical and commercial reception has stopped talks of a sequel.
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- Official website
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- Machete Kills at Box Office Mojo
- Machete Kills at Rotten Tomatoes