First Hit: As expected bloody, poorly acted and shows why the original not worth having a sequel.
I found the first “Machete” an interesting anomaly but this one showed that a "one off" doesn't deserve more film or time.
The gall of the film starting with a quasi-preview of the next Machete was even worse. Although Danny Trejo looks mean and tough, his overall stature, lack of graceful movement, and inability to create a character worth caring about was a waste of Trejo’s talents.
A convoluted uninspiring plot including a schizophrenic drug lord Mendez (Demian Bichir), a mean and clueless Miss San Antonio (Amber Heard), an amusing El Camaleon (played by: Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Walton Goggins, Cuba Gooding Jr.), and a scientific eccentric cult leader Voz (Mel Gibson).
The fun parts of the film were Cuba Gooding Jr. in his turn as El Camaleon. He brought a campy humor to a film that when I left the theater I murmured, with nodded agreement from another guest, “a waste of my time”.
Trejo would do well to get out of working with Director Robert Rodriguez on this sort of film, if he wants to advance his career. Michelle Rodriguez as Luz was fully underused. Cuba Gooding Jr. was the only real fun person to watch. Gaga was OK as was Banderas and Goggins as other personalities of El Camaleon. Bichir tried his best but it was more a poor story than his acting. Heard was probably the second best thing in the film as she spit out a conservative set of lines about immigration and gun control. Gibson attempted to bring up the magic that made him great in Mad Max and the Lethal Weapon series. Kyle Ward wrote a screenplay that probably matched Robert and Marcel Rodriguez's idea for a story. Robert Rodriguez’s direction was immature, lacked focus, and attempted to build a resume off of his first Machete effort – not very smart. He may get money for it but not raising the bar is inexcusable. I will not waste any money of the next sequel.
Overall: Do not waste your time or money – just remember the first Machete and know it is a cut above this.