Something about Robert Rodriguez changed for the better with Planet Terror. He's still the same director, but with that film I think he finally learned to put away all illusions of being anything other than Robert Robert Rodriguez, a guy who makes paper-thin, utterly meaningless but fun movies in his garage. In the Grindhouse experiment, it may have been Tarantino who best embodied the aesthetic of old drive-in exploitation films, but Rodriguez best embodied the guys who made those films.
The further I get away from it, the more I think Machete might be Rodruguez's best film yet because it explodes with his comfort zone but also manages to invent a kind of cartoonishly legitimate Mexican folk hero not unlike what Tarantino just did with Django Unchained. It's trash, but it's really fun trash that has something real on its very juvenile mind.
Which is why I'm so excited for Machete Kills, part two of the Machete trilogy that should and hopefully will end with Machete going into outer space. Rodriguez has been working on the film for over ten minutes now, and we finally have a release date: September, 23 2013.
Deadline claims Machete Kills was written by Kyle Ward. IMDB says it was written by co-writer of the first film, Alvaro Rodriguez. Neither say it was written by Robert Rodriguez, which seems a little abnormal. The plot follows Machete has he's hired by the President of the United States to assassinate people, which sounds a little less interesting than the original's border war backdrop. To make up for that, the cast has some pretty amazing names: Sofia Vergara, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr., William Sadler, and Mel Gibson.
How could I possible not be down for this? William Sadler alone gets my ticket.