Opening and concluding with a fake trailer for "Machete Kills Again ... In Space," independent filmmaker Robert Rodriguez continues his long-running nostalgia for cheesy exploitation B-movies, marking his 11th film collaboration with Danny Trejo that began with their "Grindhouse" homage.
This time, the stoic, hatched-faced hit man Machete (Trejo) is offered not only redemption but also American citizenship from the president of the United States (Charlie Sheen, a.k.a. his birth name of Carlos Estevez) if he can stop crazed Mexican revolutionary Marcos Mendoza (Oscar nominee Demian Bichir) from firing nuclear missiles at Washington, D.C. In order to accomplish his mission, Machete will be working with a handler, Miss San Antonio (Amber Heard).
"You know Mexico. Hell, you are Mexico," tequila-swilling, babe-boffing President Rathcock tells him. So without much difficulty, Machete manages to infiltrate Mendoza's compound in Acapulco, where he discovers that the erstwhile drug lord not only suffers from multiple personality disorder but also has the missile-launching device implanted in his heart. The only solution is to take Mendoza back to the bomb's creator, a diabolical arms dealer/religious crackpot, Luther Voz (Mel Gibson), who has taken refuge in outer space.
So much for the campy plot -- and the idiotic on-screen notification to put on 3D glasses, even though there's no 3D.
Based on a chaotic story by Robert Rodriguez and Marcel Rodriguez, it's monotonously scripted by Kyle Ward. In this family endeavor, Robert Rodriguez directs, photographs and edits the seemingly endless -- and senseless -- violence, aided in the latter task by Rebecca Rodriguez.
Michelle Rodriguez and Jessica Alba reprise characters they've previously established. Former "Spy Kids" adolescent Alexa Vega has grown into a nubile sexpot, working with Sofia Vergara, a man-hating whorehouse madam who feasted on her abusive father's genitals and has transformed her breast and crotch into lethal weapons. Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Walt Goggins supply more villainy as a shape-shifting assassin known as El Camelon.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Machete Kills" is a trivial and, eventually, tedious 2. Enough already.