Machete Kills is a 2013 exploitation action film directed by Robert Rodriguez. It is the sequel to Machete.In exchange for a full pardon and US citizenship, the President of the United States (Charlie Sheen) tasks Machete (Danny Trejo) with stopping insane Mexican revolutionary Marcos Mendez (Demian Bichir) from launching a missile at Washington DC. With help from his new handler Blanca Vasquez aka Miss San Antonio (Amber Heard), Machete infiltrates Mendez' secret base, but runs into trouble when he finds out that Mendez has wired the detonator to his heart, which Mendez then activates, starting a 24-hour countdown until the missile launches.Machete has a day to get Mendez across the US-Mexican border alive to the only person who can deactivate the detonator: Corrupt Corporate Executive Luther Voz (Mel Gibson), who has his own agenda. Adding to Machete's troubles, Mendez left instructions to put a ten million dollar bounty on his own head if anything happened to him, which put several people on Machete's trail, including the perfect disguise wearing assassin El Camaleon (Walton Goggins/Cuba Gooding Jr./Lady Gaga/Antonio Banderas).Rounding out the cast are Desdemona (Sofia Vergara), a madam and leader of a gang of assassins who blames Machete for the death of her daughter, and Michelle Rodriguez reprising her role as Luz.It will be followed by Machete Kills Again...In Space!
This film includes examples of:
Action Dress Rip: Miss San Antonio slices a long line down her skirt so she can move freely.
Ascended Fanboy: Voz becomes this after confessing to be a Star Wars fan, with clone armies, donning a mask after getting his face roasted like Darth Vader, traps Luz in carbonite like how Han Solo got captured and trapped in carbonite, has Star Wars-esque decor on his ship, and if the trailer for Machete Kills Again... In Space is to be believed, he will wear a Darth Vader-esque outfit. Also see Shout-Out below.
Miss San Antonio takes her pageantry very seriously despite it only being a cover. Voz uses this to turn her with the promise of a crown if she helps him.
Also what happened to Mendez. He was Mexico's first and only secret agent sent to infiltrate the drug cartels, and the stress from the things he had to do, plus seeing his family beaten, drove Mendez insane and created a Split Personality that really was a psychotic criminal.
Cartwright Curse: Losing your wife (with daughter) was not enough to break Machete, so Sartana dies too, and if Machete Kills Again... In Space is to be believed, Luz will also be the unlucky one. He also casually sleeps with Miss San Antonio, who turns out to be evil and gets killed by Luz.
Catch and Return: When a man throws a butcher knife at Machete, he catches it and throws it back.
Darker and Edgier: Contrasting from the previous film, Zarors and Osiris turn into Ludicrous Gibs when they die, most of the Network members get killed by one Zaror in the final battle while the surviving ones get captured and taken to Voz's space station for slave labor, Luz is 100% blind and trapped in carbonite, and Mendez's backstory reveals that his wife and daughter were tortured to death, unlike how Machete's wife just got beheaded and their daughter killed offscreen in the previous film.
On the other hand, this film got a 15 rating in the UK, compared to 18 for the original.
Dead Man Switch: The rocket launch is connected to Mendez's heart, preventing Machete from simply killing him.
Miss San Antonio - who had earlier declared that her beauty-pageant tiara was the only thing in life that mattered to her - is killed when Luz plunges said tiara into her heart and then shoots her in the head.
El Chameleón is killed by a racist gang because he disguised himself as a Mexican man and then tried to pass off as a Canadian.
Voz attempts to invoke this on Machete, trying to kill him with the only one of his futuristic guns that Machete favored.
Disposable Woman: Sartana is killed in the opening scene to give Machete motivation. Cereza is also killed shortly after introduction to give Desdemona motivation.
Does Not Like Men: Desdemona equates all men with her abusive father and the men responsible for her daughter's death. She explains this to some poor sap before violently whipping him and breaking his neck.
The Dragon: Mendez has one named Zaror, who puts up a bit more of a fight for Machete. He is one of several clones created by Voz, making him The Dragon for Voz several times over.
Dragon Their Feet: In the best Bond Villain tradition, Voz gets his face burned off while Miss San Antonio and at least one Zaror are still alive and breathing. Subverted when Voz improbably survives, setting up the Cliff Hanger ending.
Dumb Is Good: Voz tells Machete that he believes his precognition powers don't work on him because Machete doesn't have a whole lot going on up there (which is really not giving Machete enough credit).note It's entirely possible he was just taunting Machete, as well.
Elite Mook: Zaror gives Machete a run for his money with each rematch.
Gangsta Style: La Chameleón lets a victim choose how he'll hold is gun when killing him, calling gangsta style "with flair." When the guy asks for the "coolest way," the Chameleon flips the gun upside down and pulls the trigger with his pinky.
Gatling Good: Desdemona has a special bra with built-in twin gatling guns.
Gender Bender: El/La Camelaon "becomes" Lady Gaga between Cuba Gooding Jr. and Antonio Banderas.
Genre Savvy: Voz is perfectly aware that Machete is superior to any number of his Mooks, or even his Elite Mooks. That's why he wants Machete's DNA, after all.
Genre Shift: Starts off as a sleazy action movie in the style of the original Machete, then becomes a James Bond movie two-thirds of the way through.
Helicopter Blender: The first Zaror's fate. Later improved by Machete by attaching his grappling hook to the rotor and using his machete to decapitate mooks faster than the eye can see.
Hero of Another Story: After Machete disarms the missile, the President informs him that he had other agents disarm Voz's other missiles from around the globe.
Homage: While not a direct Shout-Out, the part where Luz is blinded and must fight the Dark Action Girl is very similar to Rodriguez's previous film ''Once Upon a Time in Mexico, where Agent Sands is blinded and must do the same.
Immune to Fate: Voz's precognitive abilities cannot account for Machete's actions, something that baffles him.
Katanas Are Just Better: Machete kills a lot of people with his various souped-up machetes, but he's defeated by Voz, who wields a katana. However, Voz does discard the katana for an oversized bat'leth to deliver a killing blow. It's also made fairly clear that neither the blade, or even Voz's skill, have anything to do with it; rather, his admittedly imperfect ability to see the future and predict Machete's moves.
Language Barrier: El Chameleón is really bad at Spanish. At one point, he tries to ask an old Mexican man for directions, but the man cannot understand him, prompting the frustrated hitman to kill him.
Large Ham: Several, with Desdemona being the standout.
Latino Is Brown: Amber Heard plays "Blanca Vasquez," who is blonde, green-eyed and apparently Mexican-American, yet she's also a double-agent, so her whiteness is apparently a hint that her Mexican identity is a fraud.
The Man They Couldn't Hang: Machete gets hanged by a racist sheriff near the beginning. To the sheriff's amazement, other than being unable to free himself, Machete is unaffected. Instead he just glares at the sheriff until the President calls in his pardon.
Our Presidents Are Different: Charlie Sheen is a dickish President who doesn't believe in gun control, enforces anti-illegal immigration policies, legalized marijuana for the tax money, and sleeps with four women in the same bed.
Our Zombies Are Different: Not outright stated, but it is hinted that the reason why Machete can't die is because Machete is vengeance itself.
Phallic Weapon: Desdemona's strap-on is a gun that she fires via vigorous hip thrusting.
Split Personality: As it turns out, Mendez had at least three personalities: the calm and reasonable revolutionary, the evil and batshit insane cartel leader, and the badass secret agent. When Machete asks how many personalities he has, the Agent says "That's classified."
Stock Parody: Franchise/Star Wars gets spoofed in the fake trailer.
Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: After being the main female lead in the first film, Sartana is killed before the opening credits of the sequel.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Machete is much more ruthless and less magnanimous in this film compared to the first one, in which he often deliberately spared the lives of people who might not have been knowingly serving the forces of evil.
Trailers Always Spoil: Thanks to the trailer for next film we see at the beginning of this film, we know who survives the film itself. Subverted in the case of the Chameleon, who dies. The trailer does acknowledge this, however, by specifying "Lady Gaga as, whoever she wants to be."
Two-Faced: Happens to Luther Voz when he gets shot in the face with a flamethrower.
We Can Rule Together: Voz, seeing Machete as the perfect warrior, tries to recruit him. Of course, the hero refuses.
Wire Dilemma: Referenced by Luz when Machete refuses to take along her bomb expert, Osiris Amanpour. Luz says she heard its always the blue wire anyway. Later Osiris gets shot and Machete must disarm the missile by himself anyway. It ends up Luz was absolutely right.