Say what you will about Robert Rodriguez’s MACHETE, the film was a hot mess of grindhouse fun, a flick where everyone involved looked like they were having a good time—from Robert De Niro to Steven Seagal. And while it wasn’t an overwhelming financial, critical, or fanboy success, Rodriguez is bringing the character back for another round of grimy grindhouse action in MACHETE KILLS. And where we thought MACHETE KILLS might not bring in the big names like part 1, it’s shaping up to be just as solid—or even moreso—than the original!
Danny Trejo (of course) is back as a tatted up Mexican who doesn’t take shit from anyone, working for the U.S. government to stop a bad guy looking to blow up space. For all the work Trejo gets these days (which is something new every other day of the week, from movies to TV and everything in between), let’s face it: Machete is the role Trejo was born to play. Seriously, everything else he does is just a mask of what he does as Machete. And if there are more in the future, there’s no doubt the man will continue to return in the title role. I can already see MACHETE’S WHEELCHAIR in our future (albeit 15 years from now).
Other returning characters include a couple of hotties: Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez. Awesome. Say what you will about Alba’s fake nudie scene, the chick is still smokin’ and is a welcomed sight in this series, as is Rodriguez, who’s scowl (while a little over-the-top in every other movie she’s in) seems to fit the role and her character perfectly here. Here’s hoping these chicks stick around for the life of the series (since it sounds like Rodriguez wants to make a shit ton of them from now into the foreseeable future), though I have a feeling one of them is going to not going to survive to the end credits.
But enough with the returning characters, let’s take on some of the new faces joining MACHETE’s world. Since we’re on the subject of hotties, let’s kick-off with one of the hottest females working in Hollywood today: Amber Heard. That’s right, Heard is on board as Miss San Antonio, a role that no-doubt will require her to rock a bikini (or less!), and maybe a tiara for good measure. She rocked her role in MANDY LANE and nailed her Daisy Duke shorts in DRIVE ANGRY, and while many of her roles on TV have gone nowhere (where did THE PLAYBOY CLUB go?), it doesn’t take away from the fact that she’s ridiculously hot and is an enormously talented actress. The world needs more Heard—and MACHETE KILLS did itself a solid by adding her to the roster.
For a movie that will feature a ton of ass-kicking machete action, it’s essential that a true and blue ass-kicker is a part of the party. Word on the street is that ONG BAK’s Tony Jaa has joined MACHETE KILLS, fulfilling that hole that Seagal left unattended as the local badass with mad martial arts skills. And let’s face it, Jaa has the moves and the skills that far out shines Seagals any day of the week. Say what you will about Rodriguez and his movies, the man knows how to cast the hell out of something, and has this ability to attract some of the most talented people in the business.
Speaking of which, the Big Kahuna in all of the casting thus far: Mel F*cking Gibson. That’s right folks, the man everyone used to love but now hates is on board as (I’m assuming) the crazed arms dealer looking to blow up space. Gibson is rocking the big (but mostly small) screen right now with GET THE GRINGO, a project that proves the man can still deliver the beaten, hungover, charismatic, and humorous character that we grew up with (a flick that’s like PAYPACK 2, or a small glimpse at what Martin Riggs would be like if he was fired from the force and turned to drinking full-time). The fact that he’s in this flick makes MACHETE KILLS one of my most anticipated movies in production right now. People may hate him for what he does in his personal life, but no one can deny his abilities to entertain—his presence is still shining on screen, and to have him over-the-top will surely out-shine De Niro’s attempt at being cool in the grindhouse world.
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but MACHETE KILLS is shaping up to be one helluva killer ride. From the epic returning cast (Trejo! Alba! Rodriguez!) to the new additions (Heard! Jaa! Gibson!), methinks this is going to be one sequel that will not only live up to its predecessor, but may actually surpass it in both the quality and entertainment departments. Maybe it’s because we don’t get to see such badass characters in R rated violent and over-the-top action films anymore (or at least, not nearly enough) that makes the presence of films like MACHETE and MACHETE KILLS so welcomed—and if they can attract this kind of talent, it appears everyone is feeling the same way. Let’s just hope it’s as successful as we all hope it will be.