Wipe away the torrent of blood from the 2010 film “Machete” and you saw a coarse treatise on illegal immigration and those eeee-vil folks who dare to care about controlling the borders.
The film wasn’t a flop, but its $26 million haul hardly screamed “franchise.” Yet a sequel is on the way all the same, but this time it looks like we’ll see more of Machete the killing machine and less obtuse political content.
The new film finds Machete recruited by the U.S. Government for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man. Machete must battle his way through Mexico to take down a madman cartel leader and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war across the planet with a weapon in space. Machete takes on an army in an effort to dismantle a plan for global anarchy.
“Machete” writer/producer Robert Rodriguez is one of the more pragmatic talents in Hollywood. His early claim to fame was making “El Mariachi” for a measly $7,000. Since then, he’s wisely concentrated on keeping his budgets relatively low and ensuring a decent return on investment for his projects. It’s clear he still has a grasp for the bottom line.
Genre fans love Danny Trejo’s Machete character, and who can blame them? But the first film’s ugly political content – painting politicians against illegal immigration to be nothing more than monsters – certainly turned away more than a few genre fans.
“Machete Kills,” the tentative title for the new film, could be both a reboot and a sign that Hollywood has the ability to listen when the audience speaks. It just doesn’t happen very often.