Bad news for the many Robert Rodriguez fans, who’ve been patiently awaiting the filmmaker’s Sin City sequel over the past eight years now: that followup, titled Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, has been pushed back for another year. As as sort of (Consolation?) prize, a different Rodriguez sequel-for-adults (read: not Spy Kids 5) will open in theaters this Fall. The project in question is Machete Kills, which is the second installment in the ultra-violent campfest franchise – as was birthed by Rodriguez’ Machete faux-trailer, featured with his and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse double-feature (Planet Terror and Death Proof).
The previously-released Machete Kills English/Spanish teasers are essentially glorified cast announcement clips; by comparison, this new theatrical preview offers a proper outline of the story, characters and (intentionally) ridiculous nature of Rodriguez’ film. That includes: an introduction to the main conflict – Machete (Danny Trejo) battling a madman (Mel Gibson) with a missile – in addition to the cartoony players like President Charlie Sheen (credited under his real name, Carlos Estevez), Amber Heard (The Rum Diary) as Machete’s beauty pageant-winning handler, and Lady Gaga playing Cuba Gooding Jr. (or is it the other way around?).
Rodriguez’ original feature-length Machete movie is, for all intents and purposes, a proper nod to the low-budget pulp cinema made in the 1970s – between all its sleazy content, absurd violence and hammy political commentary, making the film an example of what has been dubbed “Mexploitation.” The sequel appears to be taking the same route as The Expendables 2: by playing up the elements that proved most successful in the first installment. Question is, will Machete Kills wind up taking thing so far that, in the end, the movie feels like less of a good-natured homage – more a joyless kitschy imitation (example: Batman & Robin)?
One problem with the Machete Kills footage shown to date – in this writer’s humble opinion – is that the cinematography and production design in general seems to lack the intentionally (read: stylistically) low-budget aesthetic of the first movie – and instead just looks cheap in a, well… cheap way. Similarly, the one-liners in the first Machete flick were sufficiently cheesy and self-aware, but the back-catalogue referencing in the sequel (like the “Machete don’t Tweet!” joke) give me reason to wonder: did the Machete character already use every magic trick in his bag in the first movie?
Supporting cast members for Machete Kills include Vanessa Hudgens (The Frozen Ground), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Jessica Alba (Little Fockers), Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil: Retribution), Demian Bichir (The Heat) and Antonio Banderas, in addition to the aforementioned cast members. The film was directed by Robert Rodriguez, based on a script by Kyle Ward (Kane & Lynch).
Machete Kills opens in U.S. theaters on October 11th, 2013.
Source: Open Road Films [via CBM]