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This image released by Open Road Films shows Danny Trejo in a scene from "Machete Kills." (AP Photo/Open Road Films, Rico Torres)
Movie review: ‘Machete Kills’ strikes with equal doses of humor, menace

First Published Oct 10 2013 03:09 pm • Last Updated Oct 10 2013 06:33 pm

From the opening moments of "Machete Kills" — a preview of the apparently inevitable third installment, "Machete Kills Again … in Space" — director Robert Rodriguez informs us how seriously we should take this exploitation homage: not at all.

Danny Trejo returns as Machete, the blade-slinging Mexican ex-Federale, and this time he’s on a mission from the president (Charlie Sheen, billed here as Carlos Estevez) to kill a crazed Mexican revolutionary (Demian Bichir) who has acquired a rogue nuke. Machete learns that killing the guy will set off the missile and that the real villain is an American defense contractor (Mel Gibson) with a global-domination plan worthy of a James Bond villain.

At a glance


‘Machete Kills’

Opens Friday, Oct. 11, at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and some sexual content; 107 minutes.

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Machete also encounters an undercover beauty queen (Amber Heard), a bordello madam (Sofia Vergara) with guns in her bra, and a disguise-loving mercenary played serially by Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lady Gaga (really).

Rodriguez — who appears in the opening credits six times (director, producer, co-editor, cinematographer, and sharing music and story credit) — serves up fake-looking decapitations and in-joke humor in equal doses as Trejo’s menacing Machete grimaces his way through over-the-top fight scenes. Fans of logic and plausibility are advised to seek them elsewhere.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment

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