Machete Kills Combines Action, Comedy, and Science Fiction into a Unique Theater Experience

Sarah Beackley

Staff Writer

October 14, 2013

When you’re trying to decide on a movie to see on a Friday night, one factor may be what genre you’re in the mood for: drama, action, comedy, animation, or science fiction to name a few. If you chose to see Machete Kills over the weekend, this movie made that decision easier as it combined genres into one fast moving, engaging, ever-changing story. It also brought together a vast and diverse team of well-known actors, including Danny Trejo (as Machete), Mel Gibson (as the villain, Voz), Michelle Rodriguez (Machete’s loyal comrade, Luz), and Charlie Sheen (as the president of the United States). Shorter, but still memorable and fun appearances were also made by Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, Lady Gaga, Demian Bichir, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Vanessa Hudgens.

Machete is recruited by the U.S. government to barrel his way through Mexico, wiping out a weapons dealer and his conspiring team of bad guys before they can launch a deadly and futuristic weapon into space. The second movie in this trilogy series, it follows the 2010 film Machete in which Trejo’s character is hired to assassinate a senator but is actually set up and barely survives. Machete Kills begins with this warrior of sorts reluctant to return to the hit man lifestyle and its consequences, but he takes on the mission when he is not only bribed with a wiped-clean criminal record, but also learns of the stakes—this space weapon launch will kill far more people than he will be asked to. While the main genre of the film action, undercurrents of comedy are cleverly woven in, especially during the introduction and ending where announcements are used to joke about the film and death sequence are intentionally portrayed in an unrealistic manner. Some of the weaponry is certainly futuristic, creating a science-fiction, comic book-like atmosphere in some scenes.

Set in Mexico and at the U.S. border, but actually filmed on location in Austin, Texas, scenes from the movie feature impressive desert landscapes including mountains in the distance, cactus, dirt roads, tall grass, and gorgeous natural sunlight back lighting. Also chosen by location finders was an industrial warehouse with large tanks and dim lighting as a backdrop, making the flashy and dangerous-looking weapons stand out even more. Many of the indoor scenes were filmed at Troublemaker Studios in Austin, TX which used to be the site of the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport. This location for filming was the perfect fit for the brothel, the Voz Tech factory, Miss Texas competition, and Voz’s launch party and dramatic climax of the film which ends in a cliffhanger until the next film is released.

While the plot is somewhat overshadowed by all the cameo appearances, special effects, and over-the-top fight sequences, the filming locations, pointed humor, and departure from other all-too-real action movies in recent releases ensures Machete Kills will offer movie goers a fun and memorable theater experience, probably one of the most unique you’ll find in 2013.


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