Better as a concept than as an actual movie, the law of decreasing returns has caught up with Machete. The angry Mexican Federale was at its best as a fake trailer for Grindhouse. The movie that ensued was middling at best and yet, still better than the sequel.
Machete Kills revolves around a nuclear missile in hands of a Mexican cartel. The chase becomes an excuse for Danny Trejo to dispatch recognizable actors with extreme prejudice. Most of the villains are remarkably lazy creations (we get it, Sofia Vergara has big breasts), while others are gratuitously complicated (The Chameleon is played by four people, most notoriously, by Lady Gaga). Trejo looks bored through the entire film and this is a franchise built around him.
Then there is the controversial combo that gives the film a slight edge. Charlie Sheen (credited as Carlos Estévez) is known as a more than competent satirist (Hot Shots!) and his POTUS hits the spot. Mel Gibson as a Bond villain of sorts isn’t as strong, but easily upstages the putative hero of the show.
Machete Kills opens with a fake trailer for the following chapter of the saga, Machete Kills Again… In Space. It’s unlikely to ever materialize and, judging by the previous movies, it’s a blessing in disguise. Un perro de pradera.