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‘Machete Kills’ (Robert Rodriguez, 2013)

Robert Rodriguez’ production style doesn’t always lend itself to coherence. About a decade ago, the freedom of a backyard studio and work-hungry Texan troupe pushed the talented writer/producer/director/editor/composer into a world of indulgence where bringing on board his children to co-write suddenly seemed a smart idea. Prolific to the point of madness, a sequel like Machete Kills ends up having more in common with one of those Friedberg & Seltzer parody movies than the B-pictures of his youth, quickie ideas thrown together on cheap sets with a cast largely composed of friends. Now, Rodriguez is too naturally gifted for any of his work to deteriorate to Disaster Movie or Meet the Spartans levels of inanity, but its increasingly clear that beyond the tremendous Trejo (who I have a lot of time for), these Machete pictures lack the authenticity or fun of true Z-trash. I just can’t help thinking a badass like Machete would fit better into the Expendables or Fast & Furious teamups than carrying his own franchise. Machete Kills Again…in Space? Well, if anything’s going to win me back, space sequel is the trick.

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