3 October 2013 12:43 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete Kills” is a sequel based on an end-credits joke from a film that was itself based on a joke trailer contained within a half-joke grindhouse homage. Exactly how many degrees such an endeavor is removed from anything resembling serious cinema would require Jean Baudrillard to calculate, yet for more immediate filmgoing purposes, all there is to see here is a surprisingly long-lived gag finally running out of gas. As violent as its predecessor yet noticeably duller and less outrageous, “Machete Kills” is dragged to the finish line entirely by its director’s madcap energy and an absurd cast of major stars in strange cameos. The Open Road release will likely be well received by fans of the original, while others will be forgiven for wondering just how much longer Rodriguez’s jones for intentionally shoddy, Z-grade filmmaking deserves their continued indulgence.

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