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Film review: ‘Machete Kills’

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Danny Trejo and Michelle Rodriguez star in Machete Kills.

Three stars

Machete Kills Danny Trejo, Demian Bichir, Michelle Rodriguez. Directed by Robert Rodriguez. Rated R. Opens Friday.

Given that it was expanded from one of the fake trailers made for Grindhouse, Machete was a surprisingly coherent movie—to its detriment, in some respects. If anything, it was too ordinary. Machete Kills aims to correct that error, serving up a nearly nonstop parade of goofy pseudo-exploitation mayhem. What little plot exists isn’t worth summarizing, so just know that Danny Trejo remains indelibly impassive in the title role, except when wielding sharp objects, and that director Robert Rodriguez has put all of his stock in outrageous set pieces and cheeky cameos. Like the previous installment, this one overstays its welcome, but between Demian Bichir’s over-the-top cackling as the chief villain, Mel Gibson’s good-sport embrace of his image problems and a face-changing assassin called The Chameleon, there’s something to amuse just about everybody, however irregularly.

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  • Every book adaptation should be this good.

  • Made from the “kids-won’t-care-how-badly-we-slapped-this-thing-together” school of filmmaking.

  • A requiem for America this is definitely not.

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