DVD Review: "Machete Kills" proves a worthy sequel

This sequel to Robert Rodriguez's 2010 “Machete” — a semi-retro action vehicle for Danny Trejo — came and went quickly enough last year that I somehow missed it, despite being a big fan of the original and of Trejo. (How big a fan? I want him to be President, just so we can get his weathered mug on Mt. Rushmore, which will make the climb much easier.)

If you think Trejo is an unlikely candidate, compare him to the film's President Rathcock — played by the always even-tempered Charlie Sheen, billed for the first time under his birth name, Carlos Estevez. Rathcock pressures Machete to stop Mexican renegade Mendez (Demian Bichir), whose multiple personality disorder enables him to be, at different times, a revolutionary leader and a drug cartel boss.

Mendez turns out to be the cat's-paw of insane industrialist/“Star Wars” fanatic Voz, portrayed by Mel Gibson, who (big surprise) delivers some really great crazy. Wandering through is a hired killer known as The Chameleon, whose genius at disguise mandates four different actors in the role, including Antonio Banderas and Lady Gaga.

If it's not already obvious, this is largely a spoof of 007 and the “Mission: Impossible” films. The first movie had a bizarre cast (including Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, and Steven Seagal). In addition to those already named above, this one includes (mostly in brief roles) Amber Heard, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Hudgens, Tom Savini, William Sadler and Elon Musk. (Elon Musk???)

If “Machete Kills” doesn't quite match up to the original, it still provides plenty of fun...and even more gore. It's always a kick to see Trejo — who turns 70 in a few months — kicking butt and taking names.

The Blu-ray image looks great. While Rodriguez has been known to pack his discs with extras — check out “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” — sadly this one has only some outtakes and twenty minutes of amusing behind-the-scenes stuff.

Machete Kills (Universal Home Entertainment, DVD/Blu-ray combo pack, $34.98; DVD, $29.98)


ANDY KLEIN is the film critic for Marquee. He can also be heard on "FilmWeek" on KPCC-FM (89.3).

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