DIRECTOR: ROBERT RODRIGUEZ
Machete Kills is somewhat disappointing. It's definitely a step down from the raucous fun of the first film, but still a mildly entertaining effort. Machete was more anarchic, whereas the sequel seems almost formulaic.
Robert Rodriguez returns to direct, but I think most of his fans were more eagerly anticipating his Sin City sequel. Danny Trejo comes back as the title character, as do supporting actors Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, and Tom Savini.
There were several newcomers to the cast. Perhaps the best was Demian Bichir who you might know as Esteban Reyes from the TV show Weeds. He's also appeared in films such as Heat, Savages, and Che. He gives an excellent performance here as a crazed revolutionary threatening to blow up Washington D.C.
The other standout is Mel Gibson as the film's true villain (his first role as a bad guy). He seems to be one of the few having fun here and his slightly over the top performance is spot on. Charlie Sheen also joins the franchise as the President of the United States. This seems to just be a bit of stunt casting, as he's largely on autopilot. Sheen was credited by his real name, Carlos Estevez, for the first time.
This is also the first film role for pop star Lady Gaga. She's decent, but her performance is nothing special.
Overall, the film just has a been there, done that kind of feel to it. There's not much here that wasn't done better in the first movie.
The critics haven't been good to Machete Kills. As of October 19th, it has a paltry 30 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and slightly better 41 on Metacritic. The IMDB rating is 6.3.
The box office performance hasn't been much better. It has only made a little over $5 million so far.